Last week the O2 Forum in Kentish Town provided everyone who attended with four sumptuous treats and like all good things each one came from far reaching and exotic destinations; Germany, Japan, Brighton and of course, Southampton. Let’s put our hand into the bag and see what we pick out.
The first treat comes in the form of German metal band Any Given Day who exploded onto stage with heaps of energy and power. The front man, Dennis Diehl, who has muscle built on top of muscle, helps with this front of power but when he’s talking to the crowd you get the feeling that he is actually quite gentle, not to say his screams and cleans aren’t excellent or filled with drive. Front men of this formidable size generally tend to be very aggressive on stage throughout most of their sets, perhaps to help get the crowd pumped but I believe the rest of the Any Given Day do such a good job of that this isn’t necessary. And yet when Diehl speaks he is very humble and just happy to be performing. Their penultimate song is ‘Diamonds’ by Rihanna, which is not only the video that I came across that got me into this band but also shows their range as musicians. I doubt you’ll hear of Rihanna covering any of their songs on any given day.
Next out of the bag are the Brighton-based post-hardcore foursome; Black Peaks. As always a very energetic set and the band are truthfully pleased to be here. The crowd enjoys the set immensely. Vocalist Will Gardner is always a pleasure to watch perform with his highly expressive facial features and gesturing arms along with backing vocals from guitarist Joe Gosney and bassist Andrew Gosden’s head banging. Once again there is a wonderful blend of screaming and clean vocals throughout. An ever-growing band and one you definitely should catch performing.
All the way from Japan we have Crossfaith. Holy Christ these guys are good. This Japanese six piece blew the previous two bands' energy clean out of the venue. Singing in English and rammed full of synths and other eclectic electronic sounds that sit comfortably with a bassist, two guitarist, the drummer and main vocalist with the synth man providing the additional vocals. Each member has their own unique style of dress, ranging from having black painted hands to what I would describe as an ornate Moroccan-styled metal guitar body, leather jackets to vests. The forth song is a cover of The Prodigy's 'Omen' introducing it as "This one is one of yours" and it's an excellent cover! Half way through this cover the front man jumps in with the first few rows in a mini surf. Drawing to a close with a move popularized by Slipknot, Crossfaith get everyone to crouch on the floor before launching up into the air at the given signal.
"You're going to get really fed up of me saying thank you tonight" are some of the first words that are spoken to the crowd by Dani Winter-Bates, the front man for tonight’s headline act, Bury Tomorrow.
Whilst their performance was consistently excellent throughout the bands set, it was only too obvious how happy they where to be playing. They’re an incredibly humble band and took every opportunity to talk to the crowd, on many subjects including the current UK scene and their thanks for supporting it. This was mentioned again later, thanking the audience for continuingly supporting metal and putting bands like them and While She Sleeps in the top 40. They say they don't take themselves too seriously and it's all about having fun, often punctuated by joking with the security team.
Bury Tomorrow get everyone to link arms together for ‘Last Light’ to instill a sense of being one, a unity of friends and family. Nearing the end of the show, Dani talks about the three letters they as a band hate; ‘VIP’, stating is creates a divide between fans for the soul purpose of exploiting a band’s fans base for money when it comes to ‘meet and greet packages. This is band who, as I previously mentioned, may not take themselves too seriously but they do take their fans and their industry deadly seriously. They stand up and speak out on subjects that they care about, each member speaking to the crowd to either give their appreciation or to talk about something that matters to them.