Peterborough may not be on the usual touring circuit for most bands, but tonight inner-city venue The Met Lounge plays host to Arcane Roots as they stop off on their ‘Melancholia Hymns’ UK tour. They have brought their friends Fizzy Blood and tonight’s openers Gold Key along for the ride.
Comprised of members from Sikth and Gallows, there’s no surprise there is a stir surrounding Gold Key. As they take to the stage, a modest crowd gather and a strong opening song helps to kick things off in style. Playing songs from their debut LP, ‘Hello, Phantom’, the four-piece create a sound that’s both melodic and powerful akin to the likes of Brand New. Punctuated with flair and creativity from a drummer obscured by amps on a stage not necessarily used to holding the sheer amount of gear on show by all the bands, Gold Key deliver a set that shows promise, especially in recent single ‘Kerosene’. Some of their ideas are revisited a little too frequently but with a little bit of work, and with a pedigree as highly regarded, Gold Key are definitely ones to watch. (3/5)
Fizzy Blood are yet to soundcheck and struggle through this as they set up. Some people are lost during this process but from the opening notes, it’s clear to see that Fizzy Blood are a professional, energetic unit worthy of the good press and buzz that has surrounded them of late. Fizzy Blood ooze class. The look, the moves, the songs, even breaking a guitar string never looked so cool. Unfortunate sound issues in places didn’t even break their stride. It’s in songs like ‘Summer of Luv’, ‘ADHD’ and the brilliant ‘January Sun’ that its impossible to ignore that Fizzy Blood are heading places and with performances like tonight’s they will be soon packing rooms much bigger than this one on their own merit. (4.5/5)
It’s time for headliners Arcane Roots to take to the stage and with a directional switch up in new album ‘Melencholia Hymns’, the inclusion of keyboards and a much more modest guitar set up show a changing of the tides. Starting with album openers ‘Before Me’ and the storming ‘Matter’, Arcane Roots are a band on a mission. A sultry lighting show and stellar musicianship create a whole feel that there is a real belief in the new album. Hearing these songs live solidifies the choice to make the music Andrew Groves and company want to make, along with refreshing older songs such as ‘Slow’ and a rare rendition of ‘Rouen’ from debut album ‘Left Fire’.
A receptive crowd embrace the new material here and ‘Off The Floor’ garners one of the more raucous reactions of the evening. Arcane Roots seem to have evolved as a band, delivering a set that takes the whole room on a rollercoaster ride. By the time ‘Curtains’ and the phenomenal ‘If Nothing Breaks Nothing Moves’ ring out, it seems the whole place is sold on the fact that Arcane Roots are one of the hottest acts around today. Although some of their material may take a particular taste to connect to, in a live environment it is hard to be anything less than completely in awe of what the three-piece have achieved. (5/5)
As the room lights illuminate the carnage that has been left the weight of the evening really sinks in. Three bands each with a point to prove. Each making that point in a poignant fashion. Gold Key and Fizzy Blood both proved that the buzz surrounding them should be taken seriously, while a storming set from the true professionals that are Arcane Roots reminded everyone that there are few bands around that can do it better. All in all a triumphant night in a city not usually versed in the UK touring scene, but if more bands follow Arcane Roots’ lead it won’t be long before Peterborough becomes a regular visit for all.
Words by Jay Harrison (@Just_Jay_89)