Though it’s easy to focus on the bands who are making waves on the bigger stages across the country, its more important than ever that we support the underground scene in the UK. Without the support of fans and venues, there would be nowhere for homegrown talent to cut their teeth and develop into potential world-beaters, and that would affect the whole industry. Tonight is exactly one of those kind of nights with Blood Youth and Zoax, two of the finest bands to crawl from the woodwork in the past few years, taking to the stage in North London for a quick session of Riff Olympics.
First up though are local lads COPE, that’s Challenge Oppression Pursue Equality if you want their full title. The band’s brand of emotionally charged post-hardcore get heads nodding while coming across as absolutely lovely blokes who are ecstatic to be playing music that they love to such a like minded audience. Pulling songs from their upcoming EP, there’s plenty to like about this lively bunch and there’s a strong chance they will be inciting a tsunami or two over the next year or so. (3.5/5)
Zoax in the flesh is more than just 40 minutes of searing, twisted rock. It is a macabre performance of devastating proportions. Vocalist Adam Carroll prowls the stage shifting with each guitar twinge and drum fill while making the room feel even more intimate than it is. Exuding swagger and confidence from every pour it is hard to take your eyes off him and even harder to not become a subject for him to mess with a little. With the tidal sized ‘The Wave’ washing over all in attendance and a bombastic ‘Devil’s Dance’ delivering killer blows, Zoax continue to improve with each and every show they play and craft even more of a sparkling reputation for themselves. (4/5)
Taking their place on stage and wasting no time in turning the ante up to 11, Blood Youth have got their live show down to a tee. Bringing together all the best characteristics of hardcore but pushing them in a more accessible and palatable direction, the band are in the form of their life right now. Between sneaky cuts from their upcoming debut album (which for the record sound absolutely gargantuan) ‘Piece By Piece’ rips with malicious intent, ‘24/7’ storms by with punk rock aggression and the booming breakdowns of ‘Inside My Head’ have heads banging and feet stomping from front to back. This is the sound of a band who have worked their way through the ranks, battled their way through the hard times and are finally starting to reap the benefits of their efforts. The positivity and energy darting around the room as a rip roaring rendition of ‘Failure’ brings proceedings to close confirms this as another victory for Blood Youth who are seemingly just getting started. Keep your eyes open. (4/5)
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)