Unfortunately, due to the slow pace of the queue, by the time I arrive Wolves Don’t Sleep have almost finished their set. The band seem to do a good job warming the intimate crowd up, with a small pit opening up whenever vocalist Steev Bond commands them to move. Playing a heavy mix of chugging guitars and low growls Wolves Don’t Sleep finish their set to the roar of a very happy and supportive home town crowd. (2.5/5)
Next up are London-based five piece LoveLess. They put their all into playing their own brand of alternative rock, which is no mean feat when playing to a mostly unfamiliar crowd. Undaunted vocalist Shanksy leans into the front row, interacts with his fellow band mates and even treats us to a mic swing or two. They play a set featuring songs off debut ep Hollow Faith such as ‘Victim’ and ‘The Lonely’. Although the over Americanized vocals do grate on occasion LoveLess keep things upbeat, engaging the audience and getting heads nodding throughout the room. (2.5/5)
Finally the intro to ‘Praeludium’ builds and the band everyone is here to see head onto the stage one by one. By the time unclean vocalist Dennis Lee strides out Alesana kick into ‘Nevermore’. This intimate setting is perfect for the die hard fans pushed onto the front row. Lee spends almost the entire set stalking up and down the barrier, reaching into the crowd and getting the words to songs such as ‘The Thespian’ and ‘Curse Of The Virgin Canvas’ screamed back at him. Clean vocalist Shawn Milke doesn’t let his guitar hold him back either, interacting with the audience whenever he has the chance.
The band are on point, both musically and vocally, Alesana show that 10+ years of experience sure does pay off, Milke in particular hitting his high notes with ease. Songs off recent album Confessions such as ‘Comedy Of Errors’ and ‘Oh, How The Mighty Have Fallen’ sit perfectly among older favourites. The audience, although small in size, make up for it in enthusiasm, as the band finish their set and head off stage the rooms buzzes for an encore. While the rest of the band take a breather it is Dennis Lee’s job to keep the crowd entertained, with questionable jokes and demands of shots he is finally saved by Milke. Alesana end the set on a high, treating the audience to the old classic ‘Ambrosia’ (4.5/5)
Words and photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard.