Four bands with different styles have been brought together by Kerrang to kick off this year’s gigs schedules, and IamGhost, a six-piece from LA are here to exhibit their brand of, ahem, ‘vampire rock’ for the first time on these shores.
The enforced early start resulted in a sparse crowd, but this intelligently worked emo benefited from the additional violin (electrified and adding a welcome layer of sound) and vocal harmonies by Kerith Telestai, and some punishing kick drums, extracting a warm response.
TheAudition by their own admission were a little wary of doing this tour, not knowing much about the headliners, but their dedication to the cause was shown as they tuned and set up their own equipment on stage before their set (the hoodies not fooling their female fans).
Once on stage their head-bobbing smile-inducing feel good rock lifted the mood and the hands of the crowd. TheAudition’s Danny Stevens slightly camp style endorsed this feeling, although he does end up looking like Dave Grohl doing a Mick Jagger impression.
The Bronx took that feelgood nicey-ness and ran with it to the edge of a cliff where they threw it screaming into the sea. These boys from LA do proper angry, not the emo-style ‘that girl I really fancy didn’t answer my Myspace friends request’ angry, but ‘what do you mean I didn’t actually NEED that sigmoidoscopy?’ angry.
The Bronx represent a musical holy grail that I have been searching for – a band that genuinely earn the title of modern-day punk. They have an artillery of songs that are fast and quite simply brutal, supplemented by the heroic efforts of bawling lead singer Matt Caughthran. Some of the venom in his voice might have come from the fact that he broke his knee 2 days into the tour, but he still jumps around stage, into the crowd, and even walked into the middle of the mosh pit to join in. They went down a storm, keep an eye out for this band boys and girls, if you don’t, the slap you get when they pitch up on a stage near you will knock you for six.
With the warm up finished there was an expectant buzz for the main attraction – Biffy Clyro, their last album was 3 years ago and the boys haven’t shown their faces much recently, so tonight is a reminder that they are still here, and that they have a new album out in March – Puzzle.
Opener Semi-Mental with a catchy hook and riff, perfectly started the proceedings giving an indication that new album Puzzle could well be a blinder. Absence has made the heart grow fonder with this crowd who reacted to the old favourites such as The Go-Slow, 57, and My Recovery Injection with fervent zeal, not only singing along to the lyrics (with surprising accuracy) but also to the twiddly guitar bridges, and turning the Astoria floor into a large trampoline.
Three guys who all play and sing are never going to give much of a stage show, but Biffy let their music smooch with the torrid atmosphere from the audience to put the smiles on their faces. An hour later, the set was over and the boos that sounded were aimed at the venue for ending the party so early, next time people, next time – Mon the Biffy!