Sunday, 1 November 2009

Live Review: Never Say Die Tour - October 31st 2009

The second annual Never Say Die Tour kicks off with newcomers to the UK, The Ghost Inside. Even though this incredibly early opening slot is their first time in the UK they are presented with a rapturous audience, waiting with bated breath to see what The Ghost Inside have to offer. Playing songs taken from their current album and new songs which will feature on an album due out in the New Year, they tear the Academy apart. 

Iwrestledabearonce fail to fare so well. Many punters standing and watching the band and politely clapping between songs rather than getting into the eclectic sounds coming from the stage.

Oceano do nothing new. Playing three minute songs that consist of typical blast beats and beat downs. The crowd seems to appreciate this more. Proving that a lot of kids would prefer to hear the same sludgy slow tones compared to any sort of technical musical ability.

As Blood Runs Black must hate the UK. Last time they were here they didn’t have a drummer and this time they experience technical difficulties that take them 20 minutes longer than any other band to set up. When they do get going, it's obvious the technical hitches have taken their toll and the band never really seem to get into their stride, plodding along rather than enjoying themselves.

HORSE The Band fare as well as IWABO, much of the crowd standing static and politely clapping between songs. However unlike IWABO, HTB turn this into banter with the crowd, winning more people round to their cause, even though they’re one of the “wildcard” bands of the bill.

Despised Icon take what seems like an age to set up. All donning matching masks from the Scream film franchise, they set about playing a mixed set of old material, and songs from new album 'The Day of Mourning'. The difference in this material is astounding, with the older songs sounding like the death metal band they are known as, with newer songs sounding more like a hardcore band in places (the influence is even evident with banter such as “UK Hardcore show me what you’ve got”). The crowd enjoys them, but they don’t really step up into the higher gears, and show what they can do on a good day.

Architects show within seconds why they are headlining the tour this time round. Opening with Early Grave they sound huge. The crowd may have dwindled slightly since DI finished their set, but the crowd for Architects has more energy, creating the first crowd surfers of the night to show themselves. Members of the road team stage diving and the energy displayed by front man Sam Carter, send the crowd into frenzy! The set is mixed with material from 'Ruin' and 'Hollow Crown'; it’s obvious to see how much Architects have come on leaps and bounds after touring practically all year! Tighter and having more fun onstage than they have seemed to in the past, they sound great.

So as the Never Say Die tour draws to a close, it is the first and final bands that have had the most effect this evening. Architects and The Ghost Inside showed every other band on the tour that energy is the key to a great show, and a lot of bands could learn from these two.

by Jonny Almond

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