A night of hardcore breakdowns and kicks to the face (not for myself this time!), COMEBACK KID kicked off their UK tour in style! 9.5/10
Doors opened dead on 7 as advertised, a great start to the night, although sadly one of the support bands, DEATH REMAINS, pulled out of the gig. This left only one support band and an hour to kill before they take the stage at 8, allowing the slowly growing crowd to grab drinks and get content before the show begins.
Kicking off the night were SVALBARD, formed in 2011, they are a female fronted four piece haling from Bristol, these guys are a hardcore band with elements of black metal and post rock, gracing them with the ability to appear on diverse line ups on the scene. With two albums and numerous EP’s behind their back, these guys had plenty of content to fit into their half hour set. There’s a few people at the front who are clear fans of these guys, a refreshing thing to see for a local band supporting such a big international act such as COMEBACK KID. The room takes it’s time to fill up but towards the end of the set, the now almost full room seems to be enjoying them. My only qualm with their set was the vocalist, Serena Cherry, had very little interaction with the crowd until the end, introducing their final song with the intro ‘This song is about not objectifying women’ – this was the moment the room fell in love with this band, and I felt that this added an extra layer that really drew the audience in, something that would’ve benefited them from the start.
After a thirty-minute interval, it was Canada’s own hardcore crew COMEBACK KID’s turn to take to the stage, and apparently half the room’s turn too. I was admittedly not prepared for the carnage that initially ensued. Not yet being an expert of the hardcore scene, I had naively positioned myself in the middle, in front of the (barrier-less) stage, almost immediately being thrown to the side when the band took to the floor and threw themselves into ‘Do Yourself a Favour’. Within seconds fans were getting on stage with the band to jump back into the crowd, a storm of arms and feet is really a sight to behold, anyone not familiar with the hardcore scene would have no idea where to look. The energy on and off stage is infectious, and despite the cramped 250 capacity venue feeling like an oven in the British Summer, the sweat visibly falling off the band in the backlight, this doesn’t deter from the effort they put into putting on a brilliant show. The true hero of the night is lead vocalist Andrew Neufield, who not only keeps up excellent crowd interaction throughout, screaming into the pit and allowing the audience turns on the mic, but he also takes a foot to the face from an over eager stage diver as caught on camera. Most people would need a moment to register what’s happened, but Neufield doesn’t seem to even acknowledge it, and continues with the set like a trooper.
Some highlight songs of the night are those such as ‘Die Knowing’, as they slow things down for the intro track from the album of the same name. This is the only point the crowd seems to take a breather and really enjoy the music, the band’s skills as musicians really being highlighted. Of course the heavier stuff such as ‘False Idols Fall’ and ‘Wasted Arrows’ are the true high points of the night, the heavy breakdowns being further emphasised by how much the crowd gets into the beat. This is my second time shooting a hardcore gig, and although the level of violence is the same as the last, it’s a lot more respectful, one gentleman asking if I was okay before proceeding to get on the stage before diving into the crowd. Utter chaos does ensue when the band ends on a high with ‘Wake The Dead’ – they don’t faff around with a fake exit, they just carry the high energy through to the end, not once faltering as they round up their hour long set with the iconic track.
9.5/10 – No black eyes this time, the only downfall being a too short a set! Be sure to catch these guys in November when they tour with CANCER BATS & SICK OF IT ALL, catch them in as many intimate gigs whilst you can before they go to the big venues as they deserve!
Each Monday The Metal Report sends out a list of all stories, interviews, reviews and features we’ve posted for the previous week. You can sign up for it here.