Tonight demonstrated a number of things: firstly eclectic band bills are always interesting; the UK has some great up and coming bands; Deaf Institute should get their floors checked out; and all the haters and skeptics of Pure Love, have well and truly been silenced.
I think it is safe to say the crowd were here for one thing tonight; the return of Frank Carter and the debut of Pure Love. However the talent that has been brought along on this tour should not be ignored.
The Vestals took to the stage with a red back drop, they reminded me of The Cure; the melancholy atmosphere they tried to create, the sound of their music and the ‘uniform’ as it were of the band… I liked it. Heavy synths filled the Deaf Institute as they got on playing with their vocalist singing passionately with every word and even taking up a sort of Morrissey/Robert Smith dance style of his own. Tracks from their infectious and catchy double A side ‘Seventeen’ and ‘Perfect Pain’ sounded great live.
Unfortunately the crowd’s reaction (which was seeping in throughout their set) didn’t reflect this and were quite frankly flat. However I would be shocked if no one in that room checked out the opening act as they really did leave a brilliant first impression. (3.5/5)
Turbogeist are on the other side of the spectrum from The Vestals; their take on punk is raw and quirky. With the crowd paying a bit more attention, Turbogeist plough through their set, getting in tracks like ‘Alien Girl’ from their 7 inch, a tongue in cheek number about falling in love and committing to a relationship with, well an ‘Alien Girl’. One of the stand out tracks of their set was ‘Mermaids Revenge’, a catchy number with a brilliant guitar hook and the simple chorus of “You’re not human any more”. Their vocalist had recently busted his shoulder so the usual four piece had expanded by adding an extra guitarist; it worked well and I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept it that way.
Again the crowd, although the venue was busier, were just not getting into it, which is a shame because Turbogeist are going to be a band to look out for this year. (3.5/5)
Pure Love, the band born from Frank Carter’s departure from Gallows with Jim Carroll. A band who have taken a lot of stick, but tonight they have proven so much. ‘Anthems’ was released a mere two days prior to tonight’s show. The venue has finally packed out and everyone is waiting in anticipation.
‘She (Walks Through the Devil and Me)’, a personal favourite, starts the set and before you know it Carroll is on top of the crowd riffing away; if you thought this band was going to be soft live then you are completely wrong. Giving as much energy as ever, it is not long before Frank joins his partner on top of the crowd, still as ferocious as ever live but with a positive manner this time around.
‘Bury Your Bones’ sees the two taking the bar as their stage, and for a song that received so many bad reviews, it is a crowd favourite, with everyone singing along with their fists in the air.
Now for those who don’t know, Frank was recently married; his wife was stood behind the merch booth and throughout ‘Burning Love’ Frank sang his heart out to her, no one else mattered it was certainly a touching moment and a unique one if anything.
Now, for those who have been to the Deaf Institute may already know this however for those out of the loop, their floor is ridiculously fragile, at Carter’s command the crowd were told to jump and jump they did… So much that the floor literally shook.
Singles such as ‘Handsome Devils Club’ and the recently released ‘Beach of Diamonds’ whipped the crowd into a frenzy, what must be mentioned here is that although these songs are nothing like Carroll or Carter’s previous projects; they still want people to treat it like a true ‘rock n roll’ show.
As the set came to a close, the band did something which I have never witnessed before, the drum kit was dismantled and brought to the floor, and the band played ’Riot Song’ in (with) the crowd. As people screamed for more, Carter mentioned “If we had more songs to play we would, however we have already stretched a 34 minute set to 44”.
To anybody who ever doubted this band I suggest you go and watch them for yourselves; what is great to see is Carter has the passion to play music again, something which was dwindling towards the end of his time with Gallows. As a fan of the man himself it is great to see him enjoying himself again; Carroll and Carter is a brilliant pairing, both bouncing off each others energy and as a musical partnership they have cracked it spot on. (5/5)
Words by Robert Maddison (@bertmaddison)