Opening up Blood Youth‘s London Beyond Repair release show came Holding Absence, a band making serious waves in the rock world currently. The band came out with one of the unreleased songs but quickly broke into Permanent, which featured on their picture disc release for Record Store Day this year. The stunning voice work of frontman Lucas Woodland sets Holding Absence out from the crowd, and the soaring chorus of Dream of Me allows for him to show off – a chance he rarely passes up in the moment and tonight was no different. With only two songs released though, the set inevitably didn’t live up to the quality of the performance atmosphere-wise. That being said, a stunning live band who are definitely set for precedental shows as soon as their new material comes. [8/10]
Next up came the consistently-heaviest band on the lineup in the shape of Liverpool’s Loathe. Frontman Kadeem France made his way through the crowd wearing a Slipknot-esque mask and jumped up onto the stage before breaking straight into their barrage of noise. Playing through songs from last year’s Prepare Consume Proceed EP as well as the upcoming full-length The Cold Sun, which was being sold for the first and only time four days before release date on their merch table. Just to finish it all off, Loathe finished up with The Cold Sun single It’s Yours which featured a guest appearance from Lucas again who provided added even more depth to the 3 vocalist setup of the band alone. The atmosphere turned from awe of Holding Absence to mild hysteria with hardcore dancing all over the place, warming up perfectly for the headliners while playing a fantastic set in their own right. [8/10]
The last week has been big for Blood Youth – the trio have released their debut album, played their first acoustic shows ahead of their release shows and had their first major crowd injury (read more about the latter in our interview with Kaya here). None of these seemed to slow them down in the slightest though; opening track Making Waves was a hard-hitter when they played it on September’s Closure UK tour but it had an extra gusto when the mob watching on knew and screamed the words back.
Older favourites 24/7, Mood Swing and Dead Space all made outings for fantastic crowd interaction as the lyrics were thrown back in the band’s faces, and newer tracks Savanna and I Remember allowed for a lot of mindless mosh. Heaviest track Parasite (somewhat surprisingly) resulted in no injuries unlike the performance the night before in Leeds, but gave a refresher to the tiring audience. Closure provided an emotional end to the main body of the set for a quick breather for everyone in the ever-warmer room under the lights before Blood Youth returned for the traditional scrum-style brawl around the mic for Failure. As ever, it proved the cathartic moment of the show as “I am nothing to no-one and I’ve been running for one day too long” was belted out by everyone around into the one mic – a magical moment that never fails to bring some to tears.
Unlike on the September tour, there remained one song after Failure – Beyond Repair‘s lead single Reason To Stay. The combination of melodic chorus and increadibly heavy verses and breakdowns sum up what Blood Youth are all about, and the addition to the setlist made the closing moments all the more powerful. A night to remember by a band you just can’t afford to sleep on. [9/10]