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Live Reviews

Pearl Jam

British Summer Time Hyde Park

Friday 8th & Saturday 9th July 2022

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PEARL JAM – BST HYDE PARK – LIVE REVIEW

It’s hot, hot, hot! It’s British Summer Time and the hot ticket this year is a two night stay from Seattle icons Pearl Jam. Oh yes, Hyde Park in London is packed in like a giant sweaty sauna with a delicious soundtrack on offer so let’s dive straight in.

This is another event to have suffered multiple COVID postponements but finally the gates upon on a sweltering hot Friday and diehard fans man the barriers and merch stands as they await the arrival of their heroes.

Whilst the Pearl Jam name sits atop of the banner this weekend, there is actually a packed undercard to enjoy as well. First up for us is Simon Townshend on the main stage who plays a decent opening set despite appearing more concerned with the fact Eddie Vedder was going to join him for a song, but couldn’t. When not awkwardly obsessing on the matter, Townshend showed why his own musical pedigree was actually sufficient. Very odd!

Townshend is followed on the main stage by The Murder Capital, who turn the intensity up a little. This is a band that has been winning man plaudits since their 2018 inception, and with performances like this you can see why.

It is then over to the ‘Hard Rock Rising’ stage where the fantastic Daytime TV make an early bid for performance of the weekend. Our recent ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guests stop early attendees in their tracks, as they pause to savour the likes of ‘We Can’t Be Friends’, ‘Ugly’ and ‘Zombie’. Expect big things from this group.

WATCH ‘UGLY’ FROM DAYTIME TV ON YOUTUBE
Daytime TV – ‘ugly’

Perhaps it’s the sunshine, or the atmosphere and sense of occasion but there are some great sets this afternoon. Both White Reaper and Cat Power entertain the masses on the main stage, whilst sandwiched in between over on the ‘Birdcage’ stage are LIFE. LIFE attract a big crowd to the small stage and certainly make the most of their time on stage as they showcase their upcoming release, ‘North East Coastal Town’.

The quality of the line-up shines through next with a run of Fatherson, Pixies and October Drift before our headliners Pearl Jam. Fatherson first deliver a superb set on the ‘Birdcage’ stage which spotlights latest album, ‘Normal Fears’ with airings of ‘Better Friend’, ‘Dive’ and ‘Love For Air’.

Pixies are a major draw over on the main stage and they don’t disappoint playing a crowd pleasing set featuring ‘Gouge Away’, ‘Where Is My Mind?’, ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’ and closer ‘Debaser’. Stood in the early evening sunshine, this is surely the definition of the perfect festival set.

Tucked away on the ‘Birdcage’ stage however is perhaps the perfect opportunistic festival set. That is in sense of a band grabbing their opportunity and their audience with both hands and dragging them kicking and screaming into a moment.

One of those moments that you walk away from and say, “wow”, that you tell your friends about. The band in question is October Drift who deliver a typically visceral experience for the audience, not least when singer Kiran Roy climbs a literal tree mid song.

WATCH THE FULL PELT MUSIC PODCAST WITH GUESTS OCTOBER DRIFT
The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 10 – October Drift

It’s then finally time for Pearl Jam to take to the main stage much to the delight of those diehard fans still stood stoically. BST is typically a very corporate event with an often stagnant atmosphere, but the Pearl Jam fans help to bring some life this year.

There are upsides to these highly polished BST events such as the good facilities, but a downside can be the various VIP sections sucking the life out of the crowd. Thankfully they have minimal impact this weekend with fans clearly desperate to catch their heroes after a two plus year wait.

Pearl Jam for their part do exactly what they need to do, which for the most part is just play. Vedder does regularly take time to engage the audience but it’s the music that really does the talking tonight.

Friday’s set list is well received and features the likes of ‘Even Flow’, ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Alive’, before a finale of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ with guest John McEnroe!

WATCH ‘ALIVE’ FROM PEARL JAM ON YOUTUBE
Pearl Jam – ‘Alive’

There can be no complaints from fans with the band on form, the weather absolutely cracking and the undercard on fire. It’s good then that we get to do it all over again on Saturday!

The weather is again relentless hot as we arrive on day two. There is a sense of déjà-vu with fans again getting in early to stake out their spots and pillage the merch stalls.

Today is different however as we have a wholly different undercard, which starts for us today on the ‘Hard Rock Rising’ stage with Tigercub. The Brighton band help to blow off any cobwebs and get the day started right, with a good rocking!

We are then back down to the main stage for The Last Internationale who have proven themselves to be an incredible live act. Today is no different with vocalist Delila Paz orchestrating the performance from the front. The band’s tight bluesy rock goes down perfectly as the mid-afternoon sun beats down, and day two is already picking up where day one left off.

It’s another day of darting between stages today due to the excellent booking across the stages. Both The Wild Things on the ‘Hard Rock Rising’ stage and Imelda May back on the main stage continue the streak of solid performances next.

WATCH ‘SEVEN’ FROM JAMES AND THE COLD GUN ON YOUTUBE
James and the Cold Gun – ‘Seven’

Next we head back to the ‘Birdcage’ stage for another recent ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guest, Welsh rockers James and the Cold Gun. The band has been honing their craft supporting various acts over the past year and recently undertook their debut headline tour. Each show that we’ve caught from the band has been better than the last, and again today they hit new heights with a hard hitting show.

Johnny Marr belatedly takes the main stage next and rattles through a set mixed with solo material and Smiths classics that go down very well with the baying audience.

Back over on the ‘Birdcage’ stage Petrol Girls blitz their short time on stage leaving a trail of both awe and bewilderment. Those that get it, get it and those that don’t, don’t; either way the band make an impression, which is all they need to do both musically and politically speaking. Perhaps a little out of place amongst the BST elite, but an important set at a fragile time for this country.

Soon enough it’s time for Stereophonics to grace the main stage and showcase why they could probably headline this venue themselves with the right undercard. Stereophonics are national treasures that can still pump out quality new material. They are also of the best live acts around, so of course this performance was bound to be a huge success.

New material such as ‘Hanging On Your Hinges’ and ‘Do Ya Feel My Love’ more than hold their own amongst mega hits like ‘Have a Nice Day’ and ‘Dakota’. Sing-a-longs aplenty as the band set the stage for the grand finale.

WATCH ‘HANGING ON YOUR HINGES’ FROM STEREOPHONICS ON YOUTUBE
Stereophonics – ‘Hanging On Your Hinges’

Before Pearl Jam do their thing for a second time, we pop back to the ‘Birdcage’ stage one final time for Whispering Sons who are perhaps the only underwhelming performance of the weekend. Not bad for a festival whose undercards are usually a little tedious. Bravo to the booking team for these two days of fantastic acts.

To top it all off? Pearl Jam of course! Yes headline set number two from a band that always mixes things up. This weekend in London that means two nearly entirely different setlists, a real treat for fans.

Night two highlights include ‘Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town’, ‘Black’‘Yellow Ledbetter’ and an impassioned speech from Eddie Vedder on American gun culture prior to an airing for ‘Throw Your Hatred Down’ with Johnny Marr.

Closing out the double header with a cover of ‘Baba O’Riley’, Pearl Jam have reaffirmed their status as one of the most vital bands of the past 30 years. Their legacy is built and they have legendary status, but there still feels like there is more to come.

These two days have been a delight with quality performances from top to bottom, plus British Summer Time came through with not a rain cloud in sight – could we have asked for any more?

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Jimmy Eat World

Brixton Academy, London

Wednesday 6th July 2022

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JIMMY EAT WORLD – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

After two years of waiting, Arizonian emo icons Jimmy Eat World finally arrive at what Jim Adkins refers to as his favourite venue to play. That love is reciprocated as Brixton Academy is packed tonight as fans await their heroes.

Those in the venue early are greeted by opening act together PANGEA from Los Angeles. A promising start soon begins to plod as the heat takes hold. It’s been a hot one today and as this set continues, fans begin to wilt.

Anticipation rises again for our main support act, The Get Up Kids. The influential group are given a good forty five minutes to play with, but this may end of working against them. Again the set starts well, but soon becomes samey and tiresome, with the general lethargy of the audience not exactly helping to create an exciting atmosphere.

With a crowd devoid of vigour, and energy sapping, tonight needs a kick up the rear end. Thankfully for everyone Jimmy Eat World are ready to do just that and start off their performance with ‘Futures’, ‘Pain’ and ‘Bleed American’.

WATCH ‘PAIN’ ON YOUTUBE
Jimmy Eat World – ‘Pain’

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Suddenly the venue finds its voice and our headliners are able to revive the flagging audience. There is a connection between Jimmy Eat World and their fans and that means even new tracks such as ‘Criminal Energy’ from latest effort ‘Surviving’ are savoured.

The first two bands time on stage dragged, but our headline set flies past, which is always a good sign. This is a band that knows what the fans want, and they simply plough through their fantastic back catalogue.

Obvious highlights come from the sing-a-long moments such as ‘Big Casino’, ‘A Praise Chorus’, ‘Work’ and ‘Hear You Me’. The whole set tonight flows well though and by the time main set closers ‘Sweetness’ and ‘The Middle’ are aired the crowd are refreshed and able to let loose.

An encore of ‘Get It Faster’ and ‘23’ brings an end to what has ultimately been an enjoyable night which was well worth the wait!

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Red Hot Chili Peppers

London Stadium

Saturday 25th June 2022

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RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – LONDON STADIUM – LIVE REVIEW

The career of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is well chronicled and isn’t something that we need to go in to great depth on. The fact that John Frusciante is back in the fold however is highly noteworthy.

Frusciante takes the band to a different level, one that they have struggled to retain over the past decade or so during his absence. Both on record and live it has felt like the legendary act were simply going through the motions.

That all changes now though with the iconic four members in place, the band instantly finds themselves elevated. A huge world tour taking in some of the biggest venues on offer tonight arrives at the London Stadium for the first of two nights in the venue.

Opening acts Thundercat and Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals both do a good job in warming up the crowd, who bask in the summer sun. Yes, the great British weather does well to accommodate three Californian acts which helps to add to the atmosphere.

It’s then over to the Red Hot Chili Peppers as Frusciante, Flea and Chad Smith hit the stage and break into an intro jam that ramps up in intensity until the unmistakeable opening to ‘Can’t Stop’ cuts through.

WATCH ‘CAN’T STOP’ ON YOUTUBE
Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Can’t Stop’

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From here frontman Anthony Kiedis leads his cohort through a mixture of old and new tracks to the delight of the receptive audience. The likes of ‘Dani California’, ‘Scar Tissue’ and ‘Snow ((Hey Oh))’ elicit stadium filling sing-a-longs as the band showcase their immense back catalogue.

The past decade is ignored as the band celebrate the return of Frusciante, who is a breath of fresh air for the band tonight. Of course, the guitarist joined the band for their recent album ‘Unlimited Love’, and tracks from that album help to testify to his impact. ‘These Are the Ways’ and ‘Black Summer’ are two highlights tonight even amongst the older offerings.

Read our review of ‘Unlimited Love’ from Red Hot Chili Peppers

Naturally the biggest reactions come for the likes of ‘Otherside’, ‘Californication’ and ‘Give It Away’ but the whole setlist tonight is well structured to the occasion. Tonight is a celebration and that is reflected in the bands performance.

An encore of ‘Under the Bridge’ and ‘By the Way’ sends the crowd off into the night having witnessed a legendary act prove that they do still have something left to give.

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The Hella Mega Tour

London Stadium

Friday 24th June 2022

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THE HELLA MEGA TOUR – LONDON STADIUM – LIVE REVIEW

The mass hysteria of excitement over the initial announcement of The Hella Mega Tour was something to behold. Of course, multiple unpredictable delays have occurred since then and these shows take place now almost three years later.

That initial excitement naturally dimmed by the events of the past few years soon returns however as you approach the impressive London Stadium in Stratford. Spirits are high as fans funnel into the venue ready for three iconic acts.

Before then though, they are greeted by opening act Amyl and The Sniffers who christen the stage with their unique brand of punk rock. Punk was built on rebellion and spite so it’s refreshing to see a band going back to those roots after the genre has become somewhat safe over the last decade.

WATCH ‘SECURITY’ FROM AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS
Amyl and The Sniffers – ‘Security’

Some fans get it, others look on in bemusement, but one thing is sure and that is that playing a potentially poisoned chalice of a support slot, the group deliver something memorable.

Any opening band was always going to be overshadowed by what follows on The Hella Mega Tour. It’s soon time to start the feast of music on offer today, and the crowd has piled in early for the first of our three headlining acts Weezer.

Read our review of ‘Van Weezer’ from Weezer

What makes The Hella Mega Tour special is that each of the three main acts get not just a headline set length but also full production. Weezer take full advantage of that with a stunning stage setup, but for me the appeal of Weezer live has always been the music, and today the fans are treated to a stunning setlist.

Opening with ‘Hash Pipe’, ‘Beverly Hills’, ‘My Name Is Jonas’ and ‘Pork and Beans’, the band instantly have the packed audience in the palm of their hands. The band proceed to mix old, new and covers. By the time they take their leave with ‘Buddy Holly’, the band have set the bar very high for their contemporaries to follow!

Thankfully for both those following bands and the fans in attendance, both are more than capable to keeping pace with the very best. Next to grace the stage are Fall Out Boy who again waste no time in plying the crowd with huge hits.

‘The Phoenix’ sees the band flex their muscles with pyro galore and the extravagance of the band never really fades with their set designed to tell a story. There is no real lull in pace by the band today as they blast out hit after hit; the only short respite coming due to an issue in the crowd.

Fall Out Boy are slightly younger than their tour buddies but with their performance today they show that they have reached that iconic status already. You really could go home happy at this point following three great performances, but that’s the beauty of The Hella Mega Tour, it’s mega and there is a final performance remaining from global superstars Green Day.

WATCH ‘BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS’ FROM GREEN DAY
Green Day – ‘Boulevard Of Broken Dreams’

By this point anticipation from the crowd has reached a fever pitch and after years of delay and hours of acts behind us, fans are ready to explode. Imagine the response then when the band open with ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Holiday’!

Yes, it’s clear that the band are prepared to make up for lost time and it’s an old fashioned rocker of a show from Green Day. Perhaps they are trying to keep up with Fall Out Boy or justify their position on top of the bill, but their performance is slick and removes some of the bloatedness of latter year Green Day.

Of course, the band has the hits for a situation like this and hearing a packed stadium sing every word of the likes of ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, ‘Minority’ and ‘Basket Case’ just shows what we have missed over the past couple of years.

We may have had to wait an awful long time for The Hella Mega Tour but wow was it worth the wait. Every band brought their A game, and the show as a whole will become a thing of legend from here on out!

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Volbeat

O2 Academy Islington, London

Saturday 21st May 2022

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VOLBEAT – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

Tonight is one of those rare occasions where you get to catch a big band in a smaller venue; this intimate show helping Volbeat to celebrate their latest album, ‘Servant of the Mind’.

Sold out instantly, it’s not a surprise to see the queue worming its way around the shopping centre that the O2 Academy Islington is held within.

Once inside, fans are already packed in like sardines before support act Benediction take to the stage. Once they do they are entrusted with a whole 45 minutes, which is handy given their lengthy back catalogue.

During this time, the band do their best to entertain and warm up the baying, crammed and sweaty crowd. By the end, they’ve done enough to earn themselves a solid round of applause.

Clearly though those in attendance are here for Volbeat and the band are given a heroes welcomes as they arrive on the stage. Diving straight into ‘The Devil’s Bleeding Crown’ and ‘Pelvis on Fire’, it doesn’t take them long to have the audience on a string.

Volbeat are a phenomenal live act with the addition of Rob Caggiano in 2013 really helping to take them to the next level. Newest member, bassist, Kaspar Boye Larsen is also now fully established and watching them move around the stage along with Michael Poulsen, you can’t help but feel the band has achieved optimum status.

WATCH ‘WAIT A MINUTE MY GIRL’ ON YOUTUBE
Volbeat – ‘Wait A Minute My Girl’

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The setlist tonight is a good career-spanning mix, but with an understandable focus on ‘Servant of the Mind’. ‘Wait A Minute My Girl’, ‘Temple of Ekur’, ‘Shotgun Blues’ and ‘Say No More’ all help to showcase another quality release from the group.

There are naturally huge responses to the likes of ‘Lola Montez’, ‘Sad Man’s Tongue’, ‘Dead but Rising’ and ‘Black Rose’. But really the entire time the band is on stage, the audience are lapping it up.

As we said at the start, it’s really great when you get to witness a big band in intimate surrounds and tonight has a special feel to it. A memorable night for fans is finally ended with a rousing rendition of ‘Still Counting’.

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Muse

Eventim Apollo, London

Monday 9th & Tuesday 10th May 2022

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MUSE – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW

Muse have stated that their new album, ‘Will of the People’, is “influenced by the increasing uncertainty and instability in the world”. For two nights in Hammersmith the band do what they do best in order to help. That is of course play live, and over Monday and Tuesday they raise money for 3 important causes – War Child, Médecins Sans Frontières and The Big Issue.

The chance to watch bona fide stadium-fillers Muse, oft recognised as the best live act on the planet, in the relative intimate surrounds of the Eventim Apollo is salivating and these shows aren’t just sold out but the queue stretches and bends all around town.

There is no support for night one, but Razorlight do a superb job of warning up the audience on night two. Choosing to focus solely on their first two albums, the reunited band have the crowd singing along to hits such as ‘In The Morning’, ‘Golden Touch’, ‘Somewhere Else’ and ‘America’.

Muse start both nights with the first single from their upcoming album, ‘Won’t Stand Down’, which already appears to be a fan favourite. Momentum is then maintained through a rip roaring ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Pressure’.

WATCH ‘WON’T STAND DOWN ON YOUTUBE
Muse – ‘Won’t Stand Down’

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The setlist remains largely the same over the two nights with only a couple of alterations. Monday gets ‘Bliss’ and ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, whilst Tuesday gets ‘Map Of The Problematique’ and ‘New Born’.

There are rarities such as ‘Assassin’, ‘The Gallery’ and ‘Citizen Erased’, old favourites like ‘Starlight’, ‘Plug In Baby’ and ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ and another new single, ‘Compliance’. An ideal set mix really for fans at all investment levels, which finishes with a huge sing-a-long moment in the shape of ‘Uprising’.

Throughout the shows the band look to be having fun, relishing the opportunity to return to the stage after two awful years for the world. Speaking of which, these shows aren’t going to fix the mess that is Earth, but the money raised will help those in need; and those in attendance will be overjoyed at the majesty of Muse on top form.

An encore of ‘Space Dementia’ and perennial closer ‘Knights of Cydonia’ provide a spectacular end to both the evenings and serve as a reminder of the genius of this band.

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The Mysterines

Electric Ballroom, London

Friday 1st April 2022

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THE MYSTERINES – ELECTRIC BALLROOM – LIVE REVIEW

Having recently reviewed, ‘Reeling’, the debut album from The Mysterines and deeming it “…an early contender for album of the year…” , we felt it necessary to catch the band in the live setting. So we headed out on a wintery Friday to the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

Read our review of ‘Reeling’ from The Mysterines

Many bands have played this venue on route to much bigger things, and with tonight sold out you sense that this is another act on that upwards trajectory!

Opening the evening are two fantastic support acts, with both Fräulein and Coach Party putting in well received performances to get the party started.

Soon enough the lights go out and you can feel the electricity in the air, the excitement of a crowd hoping to witness one of those shows they’ll be talking about in years to come. You know the sort – “Yeah mate, I saw them before they were famous”.

That sense of witnessing something spectacular is immediately amplified as the band lure the audience in with opening number ‘The Bad Thing’, before blasting out the incredible ‘In My Head’.

WATCH ‘IN MY HEAD’ ON YOUTUBE
The Mysterines – ‘In My Head’

As ‘Reeling’, ‘Old Friends Die Hard’ and ‘On The Run’ quickly follow it is evidently clear to all in attendance that The Mysterines are something special. It’s often said by music writers, that a bands sound is destined for arenas or stadiums. Only time will tell how far this band goes, but tonight their sound definitely is bursting out of this modestly sized venue.

‘Dangerous’, ‘Means To Bleed’ and ‘Life’s A Bitch (But I Like It So Much)’ sound absolutely massive and the crowd reciprocate that energy as the main set comes towards a close.

The venue is again shrouded in darkness as the band perform the stunning ‘The Confession Song’, showing their dexterity and uniqueness. Both the album and the show tonight demonstrate that The Mysterines are no one trick pony, and that makes their future even more exciting.

For an encore we are treated to singer Lia Metcalfe serenading a captivated audience with an acoustic rendition of ‘Still Call You Home’, before being joined by Joni from Fräulein for a very special performance of The Ronettes classic ‘Be My Baby’.

Sending the packed crowd back out into the cold Camden night with their ears ringing, the rest of the band return to fire out the huge ‘Hung Up’. Hopping back on the Northern Line, you can’t help but to look forward to gloating about this show in years to come!

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Royal Blood

O2 Arena, London

Wednesday 30th March 2022

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ROYAL BLOOD – O2 ARENA – LIVE REVIEW

As Mike Kerr reminisces multiple times on stage tonight, it has been 10 years since he joined forces with Ben Thatcher to form Royal Blood. As he surveys a packed to the brim O2 Arena, it’s clear that this is a landmark moment for the duo.

To use a tired cliché, their rise has been meteoric (well, by today’s industry standards anyway!), and this evenings show is truly a celebration of what the band has achieved so far.

Over those years the band have proven themselves dab hands at choosing support acts, and this tour has been no different with candescent indie rockers The Amazons opening proceedings.

Soon to release their third album, they are a band already making a mark in their own right, and nights like tonight will only assist in affirming an already growing reputation. Their slot disappears in an instant as they grasp the audience with both hands and shake them with a good old fashioned rocking.

Early favourites ‘In My Mind’ and ‘Black Magic’ sandwich a set showcasing what has come and what is on the way with new single, ‘Bloodrush’ another highlight. The way the band own the stage tonight it’s not unimaginable that they will one day return to headline this venue themselves.

Listen to ‘Bloodrush’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Stage ownership is also something our headliners have never struggled with. From their early beginnings on smaller stages to now playing on the largest stages in the world, Royal Blood have always planted their flag.

With a simplistic yet visually stunning stage show behind them, Kerr and Thatcher set out once again to demonstrate just how much noise two individuals can make.

WATCH ‘HONEYBRAINS’ ON YOUTUBE
Royal Blood – ‘Honeybrains’

With their third album, ‘Typhoons’ arriving in the pandemic era this tour is a chance to take this newer material to the masses and the title track and fan favourite ‘Boilermaker’ instantly kick the door in (I’ll avoid any blowing the roof off puns!).

Older material such as ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Come On Over’ naturally send the crowd into a frenzy, but it is very telling that the newer songs such as ‘Trouble’s Coming’ and ‘Limbo’ elicit equal reaction; even brand new single, ‘Honeybrains’ already appears to be a bona fide crowd pleaser.

It really has been a pleasure following the ascent of Royal Blood from their early days until now. It’s extremely difficult for rock acts to break the mainstream these days; and it’s beautiful yet heart wrenching that the band still recognise those that have supported along the way with a tribute to the late great Taylor Hawkins during a traditionally thunderous Thatcher drum solo.

By the time old favourites ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and ‘Out Of The Black’ ring out the band have proven themselves as belonging on this level. It’s one thing to get there, but another thing to stay there and on this evidence Royal Blood are here to stay.

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Creeper

O2 Kentish Town Forum, London

Wednesday 15th December 2021

Creeper

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CREEPER – O2 KENTISH TOWN FORUM – LIVE REVIEW

Since leaving their Callous Heart jackets on the KOKO stage back in November 2018 the normally well thought out plans of Creeper have hit road block after road block.

With their second record arriving during lockdown, this tumultuous period appeared to be ending with their arrival of their previously postponed headline tour. Alas, the show tonight at the O2 Kentish Town Forum in London takes place amid more uncertainty as the pandemic rages on.

Support act Wargasm are unable to play due to COVID and many of the sold out crowd clearly are also missing. The night should be a celebration, but the atmosphere is cautious, there is an impending sense of doom.

Music though is the great equaliser and can take away all of life’s worries, even if only for a while. Opening act Static Dress do a fantastic job of raising spirits and blowing away doubts. The crowd are instantly sucked in and the band capitalise on their short time on stage superbly. Crowd definitely warmed up!

With no Wargasm, it’s straight onto main support for this tour, Holding Absence. Having released one of the albums of the year in ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’, anticipation is high for their set. Over the next 30 minutes the band lives up to all of the hype that comes their way.  

An assured and uplifting performance from a band on a massive spike in upwards trajectory. ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Wilt’ close out a short but very sweet set which captures the hearts of those in attendance. It shouldn’t be long before Holding Absence are headlining venues of this size.

Listen to ‘Afterlife’ from Holding Absence on our Spotify Hot List!

Our headliners tonight however are Creeper. The band have battled adversity to arrive at their biggest headline show. Their cult following are out in force, even if the attendance drop reported by the Music Venue Trust is in evidence. The night has a special feel, and if any band can meet the high expectations then it’s Creeper.

Musically stunning and theatrically spectacular, Creeper take their audience on a journey of delight. From the time they arrive on stage to the moment they leave, Creeper exude confidence. This show builds on everything the band has presented since their inception and makes a statement. This is a band at the peak of their powers. This is the celebration that it needed to be.

A mixture of material features from across their career from their debut EP to recent release ‘American Noir’. The evolution of the band is clear for all to see, and so is the effort put into the show.

Read our review of ‘American Noir’ from Creeper

It may have taken slightly longer than expected to arrive at this level of venue, but on this showing Creeper are still on course to progress into even bigger buildings. This tour is a master class from the purveyors of grandiose rock and roll theatrics. Let’s hope that Creeper now get a clear run towards their destiny.

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Enter Shikari

Alexandra Palace, London

Saturday 4th December 2021

Enter Shikari

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ENTER SHIKARI – ALEXANDRA PALACE – LIVE REVIEW

We’re currently counting down our 2021 Album of the Year list on Social Media. It’s somewhat fitting yet frustrating therefore that we are at Alexandra Palace in London for the band that reached number four on our 2020 list.

Enter Shikari released one of the best albums of 2020 in the form of ‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’, but have as yet been unable to tour that record due to the ongoing pandemic.

Finally, they now have the opportunity to take that album on the road, but alas the pandemic still has tricks up its sleeve. Firstly, the band take to their Social Media to announce bassist Chris Batten has Covid and is out, but the show will go on. Soon thereafter another post emerges and main support act, Dinosaur Pile-Up are also out as a result of Covid!

Despite all this adversity, the determination of the band shines and the show is on. Nova Twins are the first act on stage and continue to demonstrate just why they are so hotly tipped. Their ferocious, rip-roaring opening slot is instantly enough to justify the show proceeding. The band feel at home on huge stages and by the end of their short set, they have a legion of new fans.

With DPU out of the show, Enter Shikari called on their friends, and fellow St. Albans band Trash Boat answer the call at the 11th hour. DPU are a hard act to replace, but Trash Boat are an act up to the task. After all, their album ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’ will likely feature towards the top of our 2021 Album of the Year list!

Read our review of ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’ from Trash Boat

They are able to blow away any disappointment at the lack of DPU within minutes of taking the stage. A traditional show of hands for Trash Boat first timers sees most hands in the venue raise, but by the end of their time on stage there is no doubt everybody now knows their name.

The quick flowing evening soon finds us being counted down towards the arrival of Enter Shikari. The venue is sold out and is packed tight towards the front as fans desperately await their heroes.

‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’ is an incredible album and it’s only right that it features heavily tonight. That starts from opening track ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’ as the band burst on stage to a stunning light show and a blast of confetti.

WATCH ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’ ON YOUTUBE
Enter Shikari – ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’

The crowd are truly up for it tonight as are the band. Despite the turmoil of the day and being a member down, Enter Shikari are able to adapt and overcome and still deliver an unstoppable performance.

Older tracks ‘Juggernauts’, ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’ and ‘Mothership’ naturally elicit huge responses from the audience, but so do those new tracks. Highlights of the evening include ‘modern living…’, ‘satellites* *’ and ‘the pressure’s on.’.

Enter Shikari are an innovative and resilient force and tonight is a celebration of many things, but through all of the adversity of not just today but the last year or so, tonight is a triumph of tenacity.

An encore featuring two more new favourites in ‘T.I.N.A.’ and ‘{ The Dreamer’s Hotel }’ and the always uplifting ‘Live Outside’ closes out another victory lap for a vital band that continue to go from strength to strength.

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