Category Archives: Review

Live Review: VANT @ Fibbers, York – 21.11.2016

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Review by Chazz Cheron

 

With only a handful of singles and one EP to their name, Noisy indie-rockers VANT have been carving, for themselves, an extremely loyal fan base – including BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac. Current single, PEACE & LOVE, is the fifth in a row that she has named her ‘Hottest Record in the World’ and to receive repeated commercial airplay. Embarking on a solo tour of the UK, after a support slot on You Me At Six’s academy tour last month, Mattie Vant and his eponymously-named band of indie-hippies are out to astonish.

Opening support act, and local lads, Part Time Miserables impress with a solid set of schizophrenic-sounding noise rock songs, but fail to convey any charisma in their performance – even through a cover of The Stooges’ I Wanna Be Your Dog. That’s okay though, because Californian exports PARTYBABY have got charisma in spades. Their mission is clear. So clear in fact that is literally in their name – to party. Frontman Jamie Schefman showboats his way through an often-cringey set of pop rock tracks. Holding his guitar aloft and theatrically falling to his knees, he delivers each nasal chorus with an enthusiasm that cannot be matched by many – and the audience absolutely lap it up.

If the crowd are in any way disheartened by the near-torrential rain they’ve faced to be there, they do not show it a bit, whooping and hollering as VANT take to the stage. Any fears that the headliners may struggle to contend with the showmanship of their support are immediately swayed as they rip through their first song. What the audience lack in numbers, they more than make up for in spirit, singing VANT’s lyrics back to them amidst wall to wall moshing and crowdsurfing. They are given no room to breathe at all between songs, with VANT opting instead to riff their way through their five opening tracks with no breaks. The normal catchy indie-rock tracks conclude now in 30 second feedback-laced freak-out sessions. Frontman Mattie Vant preaches love and acceptance between songs, insisting that the audience stand together as a collective against the injustices of our time (namely the EU referendum results and recent presidential election).

The highlights of the show, however, come far too late in the set – the majority of the performance soon becoming forgettable. Not boring, but nothing entirely memorable. It is not until eleven songs in that they begin to play their big hits. And this is where the set begins to really shine. Parasite and Parking Lot both drive the crowd into a frenzy – individuals sit on their friends’ shoulders and gatherings of friendly strangers with their arms around each other jump around manically as if all their worries had been taken away.

The opening chords of fan favourite Fly-By Alien ring out briefly. An eruption of excitement from the fans is followed by a disappointing silence as they realised Mattie has snapped a string. The discontent is soon swayed as the guitar tech brings on a replacement guitar and now the crowd are expecting it. As Vant repeats the same hook, through a fresh guitar, the crowd scream the lyrics at him as if they are part of the performance now.

After a very transparent false ending and encore, the band departs with a punchy cover of M.I.A’s Paper Planes. The crowd are left to endure the rains outside once more, but most feel that this has definitely been worth it.

Eskimo Callboy Review: The Key Club, 14th November

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Metalcore party-starters Eskimo Callboy are in the middle of a European tour and are about to play at Key Club in Leeds for the first time after a summer spent playing various Impericon Festivals. Their third studio album Crystals was released in 2015 and made it to 6th on the German chart and represented a step up from their second album We Are The Mess.

Joining them on the UK leg of the tour are five-piece metal band Her Name In Blood from Tokyo whose quick paced, half hour set to a somewhat-sparse crowd receives a rather lukewarm response. Managing to get a 3-person circle pit going for their final song, they end their set with relatively popular song LAST DAY and announce they will be by their merch table should anyone want to meet them.

Also supporting them are Palisades. The Electronicore band from New Jersey attract a slightly larger crowd, possibly due to their musical similarity to the headliners. ‘Dabbing’ their way through their half-hour set, they play their cover of House of Wolves by the legendary My Chemical Romance. The group demand the attention of everyone in the venue and then follow it up by getting political and saying “those of you who were following the election will know we just elected a f****** dumbass. We don’t stand for any racism, sexism, xenophobia or homophobia so if you agree with any of those things, walk on right out of here” before playing new song Aggression.

Announcing their arrival onstage with EDM that will make you wonder if you’ve accidentally stumbled upon Tomorrowland, Eskimo Callboy quickly let the half-capacity crowd know how the night is going to go with a fancy display of smoke, strobe lights and more smoke. Opening with Crystals, vocalists Sebastian “Sushi” Biesler and Kevin Ratajczak scream for the crowd to “put your mother-f****** hands in the sky” and without hesitation everyone in the room raises their arms and starts jumping.

With a setlist containing mostly songs from the new album, it’s clear to see that they are happy to leave the majority of their back catalogue in the past however the appearance of singles We Are The Mess and Party At The Horror House highlights that they still have some classics to play and the crowd will sing every word back to the six-piece from Germany.

Performing to a backing track means that the edm-style breakdowns can be perfectly recreated live however it does mean that sometimes it is hard to differentiate between Biesler’s live vocals and what has been pre-recorded.

Anyone that’s ever been to a gig in Leeds will know to expect the crowd to start chanting “Yorkshire! Yorkshire!” at some point during the bands set and Ratajczak said that it reminded him of the terrace chants at a football match and started an indistinguishable shout. Then saying that “the next song goes out to the most important people in here and that’s you,” the band played what they said would be the last song tonight Walking On Thin Ice before coming back for an encore.

Starting the encore with Baby (T.U.M.H) which is a cover of popular 90s group NSYNC’s Tearin’ Up My Heart, they follow it up with a cover of Skrillex’s 2011 remix of Cinema before pausing for the customary photo with the crowd and ending the energetic night with Is Anyone Up? from 2012 album Bury Me In Vegas.

 

Reviewed by Ruby Price

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