The Nightmare After Christmas Tour, The Star Inn 8/1/13

The back room of Guildford’s Star Inn is starting to buzz. Tonight, The Nightmare After Christmas tour is bringing local heroes Orestea back to the arms of their loyal fans.
Geek rockers Critical Hit warm things up with a dose of pop-culture covers, from Pokemon to Team America, which has the room singing along (though some maybe only in their heads).
Next up is Bristol goth-punks Ashestoangels. Tearing through their set, vocalist Crilly decides there’s not enough room on the stage (he’s already crashed into two of his bandmates) and promptly jumps straight into the crowd. As he screams into the faces of the girls in the front row, it’s hard to tell if they’re terrified or enthral led, or both.
After a brief pause, Orestea take the stage. For reasons that go unexplained, four of the five band members have decided to paint their faces, Kiss-style. (I hear they tried the look out the night before and were escorted out of a local park).
New song ‘Miss Catastrophe’ goes down well in the suddenly-packed room, particularly with the girls in front, who seem to be emulating frontwoman Lisa’s striking turquoise locks.
Her perfectly clear voice soars through, not faltering even when she joins the crowd to lead the jumping along. (It works well).
Expect some good things from their second album, coming later this year.
RC xx

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On Tour This Month – January 2013

Stuck for things to do this month? Here’s my pick of the best tours for January 2013. Get your tickets now for some (almost) guaranteed great nights out..

Funeral For A Friend

South Wales Post-hardcores hit the UK and Ireland with melodic hardcore band Such Gold, I Divide and Major League. US punks Daytrader have pulled out of the tour. Dates are here.

The Nightmare After Christmas

Female fronted melodic metallers Orestea take on the UK with a bit of help from Bristol 5-piece Ashestoangels. Tickets and info here.

Asking Alexandria

Harcore / screamo quintet tour the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe this month. For a really good night, go to Brixton, Birmingham  or Manchester, where While She Sleeps and Motionless in White are supporting. Check out the dates here.

The Blackout

Welsh post-hardcore boys bring their partying ways to the UK this January, then mainland Europe for the Vans off the Wall music nights in February. More info here.

We Are The Ocean

The Essex four piece will be playing the hits from their latest album ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’. Catch them in the UK this month and next. Dates and tickets here.

RC xx

The Rasmus – Electric Theatre 14/12/12

Last night I went to see Finnish rockers The Rasmus at the Electric Theatre in Camden. I saw the band in their hometown, Helsinki earlier this year while I was travelling round Finland, so was pretty excited to see them back in the UK.

The show started off pretty slowly. There were more than a few problems with the soundsystem, frontman Lauri Ylonen’s vocals disappearing from time to time, and the song choices seem to miss out many of the band’s most well known (or current) material. However, about halfway into the show, ‘Living in a World Without You’ finally wakes up the crowd and the room echoes with voices singing back.

‘In The Shadows’ typically goes down well, as does the band’s new single ‘Mysteria’. “They’re playing all my favourite songs”, gushes the girl beside me, dancing away happily. I’m not so convinced.

It’s hard to compare with their previous performance, a hometown show will always be infinitely better than a night abroad, nearing the end of a five week tour. Its fairly likely that tiredness and a restrictive stage contributed to the slow start, but the crowd still seem happy. (On my way out, I note that the band’s tour DVD has already sold out. Always a good sign).

Anyway, I’ll leave you with their new video.

RC xx

Greenday’s American Idiot

In the early afternoon we stepped into the HMV Hammersmith Apollo. There was an odd sense about the place, crowds of teens swarming over the t-shirt stand, huddles of people sitting on the steps and that familiar gig scent, a mixture of alcohol and sweat. It’s not a gig today though, which becomes increasingly obvious by the lack of crushing on our way into the main theatre. We were here to see Greenday’s musical, American Idiot.

We sat waiting (weirdly, the doors open 1 1/2 hours before the show..), listening to the chatter of the people behind us. Classic moments included (Person A ) ‘I’m so glad this has seats. I hate it when gigs don’t have seats’ . (Person B) ‘Miley Cyrus had seats, didn’t it?’. They then went on to discuss ‘escort’ sites for bored housewives. We exchanged horrified glances.

At last the music starts. I don’t want to give away too much, but the show is definitely something special. The songs are performed with a brilliant energy and the stage set-up is just amazing. The plot though, is a bit unclear as most of the narrative is told through the songs. It means if you miss a key movement onstage, you’re unlikely to realise what’s happened. (It was only after reading the programme on the way home that I actually understood some major plot twists).

I would recommend seeing the show, particularly if you’re a fan of Greenday (you’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of the more classic songs they’ve managed to sneak in). I just wish I’d had a chance to see the show on Broadway when AFI’s Davey Havok was playing St Jimmy..

xx

Hell Is For Heroes, Kentish Town Forum

Last night I went to see the amazing post-hardcore quintet, Hell is for Heroes support Hundred Reasons at the Kentish town Forum.

I’ve been a fan of the band for years and was at one of their (supposedly) final shows, Bush Hall in November 2008. However, they’ve come back for a single UK tour, performing their debut album ‘The Neon Handshake’.

It’s an odd crowd that waits before the stage. We’re some of the youngest there. They are, by far not the most hyped band of the moment, in fact, I can’t remember a time when they graced the front cover of a magazine, or were called ‘the next big thing’. That’s not what’s brought the masses in. It’s the fact that everyone here remembers just how good they are.

You’d never guess they’d been away though, with frontman Justin Schlosberg catapulting himself across the stage and into the arms of his band’s die hard fans, knocking over amps as he went.

The sheer brilliance of the band is undeniable, with so much energy and passion in every note. Its just a shame that more people don’t know about them. (That said, the show is sold out, with an extra date added and members of Muse and Reuben are said to be in the audience).

Thanks for a brilliant night guys. Now please don’t make us wait four more years for another one?

RC x