This year really has been something special when it comes to live music. The metal scene has really been treated to some incredible shows consisting of some truly remarkable acts and tonight is no different as a co headlining tour makes its way to our home away from home and features both Minsk & Kowloon Walled City who are worth the price of admission alone. When you add Bossk as well as Wren to the mix, its hard not to walk away feeling completely satisfied and as if we owed the promoter money!
As with most Saturday shows at The Underworld, a relatively early door time is no problem for the music lovers as they make their way through the door and to the merch stand. The best thing about shows like this is that they are for music lovers, the people who are genuinely in love with the art these bands produce and you can see it in their faces as they stand and really appreciate the sounds of the performance whilst hugging their newly purchased vinyl. Its something you don’t see at a lot of shows and that’s ok. Sure, some gigs are for people who want to let loose and go a little crazy, this is not tonight. This is for those who appreciate the art of what these bands can do and it all begins with Wren
It makes us genuinely happy to see Wren playing in front of a decent crowd for an early Saturday and make no mistake, those early birds were treated to one heck of a sound. The band definitely start things as they mean to go on with quite frankly, what is a monstrously wonderful guitar tone that works so well with the songs. The band are muddy sounding but chunky at the same time. The band describe themselves as ‘a four-piece progressive sludge/noise band with a sound reminiscent of Unwound, Neurosis and The Jesus Lizzard’. We couldn’t have described it any better if we had tried! Add this band to your list or you will regret it!
Bossk are up next. Let’s face it, we are no stranger to the band who have been going for quite some time now. We have fond memories we have talked about in previous articles of seeing this band perform in tiny pubs around the UK back in the day where all day gigs could be found taking place every weekend and before anyone even really knew who the band were. That being said it didn’t take long for them to make a name for themselves and quite rightfully so. Watching the performance took us back to those days. With incense burning and filling the room with aromatic smells to the band being shrouded in mysterious blue light and although it had been a few years since we had seen them last, it was great to know they still hadn’t lost their ridiculously heavy sound that takes hold of you from start to finish and will not let go.
At this point, the night is going well, its been a great success. Two bands nailing their sets and just when you think things couldn’t get any better, Kowloon Walled City take to the stage and without a doubt, steal the show. Before doing so, Guitarist/frontman Scott Evans shares a quick story with the crowd about how the last time he spoke with his father was about this very tour and how much it means for him and the band to be playing for London. Shortly after apologising for getting emotional the crowd does what it does best and gives the band a huge ovation all before a single note has been played. Whilst the introduction to the bands set was an emotional one, what came next was the complete opposite. The sound that came from this band on stage was undeniable and without a doubt goes down as one of the heaviest moments in the history of The Underworld. How on earth they could be so crushing and yet so musical at the same time is beyond us but one things for sure, we’re hooked and we can’t wait for them to return so we can get our fix once more.
A short stop off at the merchandise stall for a Kowloon Walled City inspired vinyl purchase (Grievances, go buy it!) We are ready for the second of our co headliner Minsk who are always an incredible live act. We did wonder just how the band would follow the set before hand but they managed perfectly. Synchronised nodding heads to the slow and heavy riffs and my word were they heavy. Drummer Kevin Rendleman pounded those drums as if it was the last time he would do so along with the rest of the band stamping their feet on stage to the beat of the bands heavy songs. Heart and soul poured into a performance to a London crowd that the band were thankful to be in front of once again. The feeling was absolutely mutual.
Its hard to explain just what we witnessed on this night as we walk to Camden tube station with our ears screaming at us (yep, we forgot our earplugs!) but if we could do it all again tomorrow with the same bands, without a doubt, we would.
All photos by JPR Photography. Be sure to check out our full live gallery coming shortly!