Live Review: Bayside, Creeper and Tigercub – Rock City Basement, Nottingham – 21/05/2015

With a career that is six albums deep, it’s pretty surprising Queens, NY’s Bayside have yet to embark on a UK headline tour. That is, until now. This current run sees the band pushing the ‘White Edition’ of last years’ ‘Cult’’ LP as well as celebrating their 15th anniversary.

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Brighton up-and-comers Tigercub open the evening with their brand of old school-infused rock. From the outset their style, bass-heavy with sharp guitars, is delivered with a slight swagger. Like most opening bands, the in-between song interaction is awkward, adding to the lacklustre atmosphere. As their set moves on, ‘You’ sees the trio hint at a more grunge-pop sound. However, it’s not enough to get a reaction from the growing crowd and their set rounds off with a whimper. (2/5)

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Southampton gloom punks Creeper are the main support and having built a strong following over the past 12 months, tonight is a good opportunity to prove their worth. The quintet from the start are energetic and come off confidently with frontman Will Gould leading the way. Last year’s EP is showcased in a strong light with ‘Groom’ being an early highlight whilst a newer song, ‘The Honeymoon Suite’ thrives with urgency before recent “single” ‘VCR’ keeps up the momentum. Ending with ‘Novena’ with its winding, atmospheric guitars allowing Gould’s vocals to stand out. You get the feeling the majority of the crowd aren’t impressed. On the other hand, I was. A short yet effective set that left me wanting to hear new material from Creeper ASAP. (4/5)

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By the time Bayside arrive on stage, the smoky room is packed out with eager fans who instantly sing back every word to Anthony Raneri from the start. Early tracks such as ‘Pigsty’ and ‘Walking Wounded’ are delivered with confidence with the quartet’s road-torn experience adding that extra something to their performance. Their spiralling riffs and Raneri’s hooks are executed precisely whilst Bassist Nick Ghanbarian and drummer Chris Guglielmo give the band’s sound a fun energy.

Throughout the set, they delve into their back catalogue. Their take on The Smoking Popes’ ‘Megan’ is given a raw punk rock coat, making it their own. Meanwhile, ‘Alcohol and Altar Boys’ from their first record (‘Sirens and Condolences’) is edgy and ‘Mona Lisa’ bursts with radiance in its chorus with a small dedicated following taking over for a brief moment. By the time ‘Sick Sick Sick’ and ‘Blame It On Bad Luck’ are played, the New Yorkers are in full swing. They end the show with ‘Devotion and Desire’ with the crowd once again singing word for word.

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It’s clear from tonight’s showing that Bayside have a devoted fanbase, one that has been with them through their ups and downs. While musically their style doesn’t come off as diverse, they have a proven, winning formula, one that fans will continue to embrace. Nevertheless, they show their worth tonight and with a passionate display throughout. After being in the game for 15 years, there is no slowing down for Bayside just yet. (3/5)


Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86). Photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard.

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