As Bad Apes took the stage they burst into a thirty-minute set consisting of the most eclectic shoegaze surf noise around. The intensity that this three-piece produce is a sight to behold, making them fascinating to see play live. Since the last time I saw the band they have developed a far more vocal lead approach without loosing out on any of the experimental noise; this development in sound has made the band far more accessible to an audience without loosing any of the alternative sounds they have built a strong live reputation locally from. The speed in which these guys are developing their sound is astonishing and I’m looking forward to seeing them again to find out how their sound develops further.
After Bad Apes had warmed the audience’s ears up it was the turn of London based two-piece Carl White to take the stage. This band made Bad Apes experimental sound look regular in comparison to their intellectual mixture of instrumental math, prog noise. Every track developed in peaks and troughs and again this band were enchanting to watch and hear. The depth of sound and general volume was incredible, especially for two people. My personal highlight of the set was ‘You and Me’ a song that felt like a journey through a relationship, with moments of tender beauty followed by brutal noise.
Even Atlas were third up and managed to again raise the noise levels in the room with their individual post hardcore punk sounds. They played a balanced set with an equal number of instrumental tracks to tracks with vocals, both delivered at a rapid pace. Vocally the band lean towards At The Drive-In or the later incarnation Sparta but musically Even Atlas could draw comparison from a vast array of great bands all combined into a raucous sound. The stage presence of this three-piece was created with a mixture between confidence, bravado and exuberance making them a pleasure to watch. The progression shown throughout the set and particularly in the new song they played was very interesting, and again, like Bad Apes I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for this band.
As headliners Hold Your Horse Is took the stage they increased the temperature in the room considerably as the audience gathered to see what the hype was about. In recent months there has been a lot written and discussed about Hold Your Horse Is and it is safe to say they will not be playing small shows like this one for long. Their style mixes post punk with hardcore, and many other elements, to create an individual, easily recognisable sound when this is combined with an intense live show it is very easy to see where the hype has been generated.
As the band rattled through their set at an astonishing pace there were moments of anger and brutality paired with complex guitar and drum lines and the occasional moment of tender beauty. The main thing the band put across throughout the set was how much they were enjoying playing live; from the first note they were throwing themselves around the stage before coming to a premature end on the floor of the venue. Tonight’s set was genuinely one of the most exciting sets I have seen all year and I can’t wait until Hold Your Horse Is are back in the midlands again. I can wholeheartedly recommend downloading something by the band, there is a free single on their website at the moment and if you want to go further I would look no further than the ‘Everyone Runs Faster With A Knife’ EP.