Hands Like Houses

LIVE: Hands Like Houses – Boston Music Room 27/10/16

At very short notice following the breakdown of the Of Mice & Men Cold World tour, Hands Like Houses announced two shows playing latest album Dissonants in full for the first time: London and Southampton. Fizzy Blood jumped at the chance to support at the London show and travelled down from Leeds to do so, bringing with them their usual energetic show.

With their blend of moderate alternative rock and indie punk, many of the crowd were taken slightly by surprise. Fizzy Blood are very different from Hands Like Houses, but in a way the pairing really worked; the two bands both blend many influences to create a fusion of genres within their own sound while remaining pretty heavy in parts. While not many of the audience members knew the tracks produced by the band, there was a lot of interaction and Fizzy Blood left the stage satisfied with their set. [8/10]

When Hands Like Houses emerged, the intimate venue had an atmosphere almost tangibly electric. Trenton made a point of telling everyone that this was the first time they had ever played Dissonants in full, and kicked straight off with I Am to get the momentum going. The band shredded through Perspectives and Colourblind with little time to stop for a breather much to the instrumentalists’ torment, but the joy on the faces was clear for all to see.

Towards the end of the set, the speeches became more common as Trent realised those around him needed to breathe for a while with the intensity of the show. These came in the form of explaining where Dissonants came from in terms of concepts, as well as there the individual tracks came from in the heads of the members. Following these though came plays of some of the conceptually biggest tracks of the album, namely MomentaryMotion Sickness and Grey Havens.

The biggest interaction however came from Degrees of Separation which is the most pop-style track on Dissonants. The crowd without exception were moving to the beat and the majority were singing along, and many felt that this made up for the lack of the track’s inclusion on the Cold World tour setlist when it hit local venue the Forum three weeks ago.

After the final notes of Bloodlines rang out, Trenton thanked everyone for coming in the usual style, and Hands Like Houses left the stage, yet the audience wanted more. Chants of “one more song” came ringing out, and with a good half hour to go before the curfew the band knew they couldn’t just leave them wanting more. A few minutes passed as they scrambled together a plan for what to do next, and with a dashing of crew members about the venue they returned to the stage.

Trenton announced “we were here to play Dissonants in full and we’ve done that…” and asked “what do you want from us?”, leading to fans screaming various songs both from their catalogue and others’. He made reference to the fact he couldn’t hear anyone and said they were going to “just play something and hope”, breaking into No Parallels from the 2013 Unimagine album before finishing up on usual set-closer Introduced Species.

Overall, the night may well prove to be the “coming of age” night for Hands Like Houses. They’ve recently completed hundreds of miles on the Of Mice & Men tour and have played one of the most energetic and fuelled events Boston Music Room could have ever seen. Even playing some songs for the first time couldn’t knock the band from their stride – they are in the form of their lives.

Blood Youth Butserfest I Remember

LIVE: Blood Youth – Boston Music Room 6/10/16

Opening up the bill for Blood Youth were London-based band Cope, who took to the stage with an incredibly political agenda. Playing through material from their upcoming release in November, the band made statement after statement in their music and almost a standup set from their frontman Adam Bates while he mocked Parliament, Brexit and the state of the world at the moment. The tracks were heavy, the band were energetic and charismatic, and the crowd took them to heart.

[6/10]

 

Second up were Zoax, a band that many members of the crowd were here to see and clearly knew very well. As they played through a setlist predominantly from their self-titled debut full-length, the crowd quickly warmed to the bizarre and often verging on offensive antics of the band. Frontman Adam Carroll has an enigmatic stage persona which brought the performance onstage to another level as he stood on the monitors and belted out the funky yet heavy tracks one after another.

In no time though, he was off the stage and strolling with his wired mic through the crowd and causing mischief. He managed to snatch pints, get shots donated to him, and even jump behind the bar (yes, with the mic still in hand…) to pour a cocktail of various drinks and encourage one of the members of the bar staff to drink it. He then proceeded to crawl back down the bar, knocking drinks left and right and stood on the end of the surface to announce the band would be playing more tracks as the band, who remained onstage, proceeded to play the opening riff to Ksychia. Only left with a couple more tracks, Zoax calmed down long enough to play an emotional rendition of The Wave and finishing off in true style with Devil Dance.

This band are most definitely an essential watch at any show/festival at the moment, and they are sure to be growing pretty quickly pretty soon.

[9/10]

Last up were headliners Blood Youth, coming out to a fully warmed-up crowd. They kicked off the set by briefly thanking everyone for coming out and pausing before ripping through Mood Swing from the Closure EP: a fitting opening to a hugely powerful set. The moment frontman Kaya Tarsus walks out on stage, he always seems to be extremely relaxed but after the routine of having a mouthful of water and crouching down, he comes out of nowhere and blasts through tracks with ease. The breakdown following “I’m in a real bad place, get away from me” was crushing to the very definition, with the sound system being cranked up so high it felt like a fan to those lining the barrier-less stage-front. They followed up with Dead Space24/7 and Cold Sweat before even taking a pause to breathe around speeches, and they only got more ferocious from there.

New tracks Parasite and Making Waves made appearances either side of old favourite Piece By Piece, during which guitarist Chris Pritchard decided to climb his amplifier stack and play standing atop it, much to the panic of the tech who clutched anxiously to the boxes to steady them.

Blood Youth finished up with a speech about the end of an era as they are going to record an album next month and how Closure was the track that will lead them into it, so they played it with one of the largest crowd interactions of the night, second only to their final track taken from 2015 EP Inside My Head which was the track the band put all their successes down to: Failure. The message within the track seemed particularly poignant for some reason as several members of the crowd were in tears as they screamed the lyrics “Failure, I am nothing to no one, and Iʼve been running for one day too long. Failure, having nothing but bad luck” and the particularly relevant “we are living our life from the ground up” as the band continued to forge their path through the biggest headline show they’ve ever played and making a career for themselves as they hit the 18 month anniversary of being a band.

[9/10]

See the headliner interview right here to get to know the band better and to hear some exclusive backstage chat!

blood youth closure interview

Interview: Blood Youth, Closure Tour – 6/10/16

We took the chance to interview Yorkshire hardcore outfit Blood Youth ahead of their biggest headline show to date as the Closure tour hit Boston Music Rooms, London.

How’s your time since Butserfest been?

Chris Pritchard (guitar): Superb!

Kaya Tarsus (vocals): Well we did Festivile and Underground Festival, which led into this tour. Amazingly, loads of people have been coming up to us on this Closure tour and saying ‘oh I saw you at Butserfest’ so that was obviously very good one for us to do.

How was Festivile?

Kaya: Festivile was cool. That was just a really cool festival. The vibe, everyone was there just having a good time, there was no awkwardness or anything.

Chris: Good heavy scene as well.

Kaya: Arcane Roots played which was cool, and obviously Frank Carter. Just a really good time.

How was your meeting with Zoax at last? (reference to the Butserfest interview, see here)

Kaya: Good! They’re great guys… We’re sick of them now [laughs].

Chris: I remember the last interview where you said “they were here and they just left” and we didn’t even know what they looked like [all laugh]. They have great accents though, Irish and Scottish.

Kaya: Yeah they’re just really great guys, fun to tour with.

Kaya, I saw your tweet about watching [Marvel Netflix series] Luke Cage this tour, so what else do you guys do backstage and in the bus?

Kaya: Well, we listen to all sorts of music but we do it in kind of themes. Last night, we had a little “memory lane” session where we were listening to bands we liked when we were 14, like Killswitch [Engage], As I Lay Dying and a load more.

Chris: Xbox too, quite a lot of that.

Kaya: This tour I just brought an iPad and sat to watch The Office – the US one, of course.

Chris: I kind of spend each tour obsessing over one song and playing it on repeat. This tour, that’s Band of Horses – The Funeral. It’s just a great track.

Sam Hallett (drums): I’m rewatching Breaking Bad, so it’s just that on my phone.

Chris: Basically zero partying really.

Max Dawson (bass): Or talking to each other… [all laugh]

Coming onto music then, what do you regularly listen to on tour?

Chris: FinntrollKorpiklaani

Kaya: Yeah, when we lock in on our own devices, everyone’s listening to loads of different stuff. I’ve been listening to the new Touché Amore album which is amazing, and I’ve kind of rediscovered Foals as well.

Chris: New Every Time I Die has been a jam as well.

Max: New Boston Manor record too.

Chris: Slipknot

Kaya: The 1975… It’s just a great time [laughs].

What do you eat on tour?

Kaya: A lot of bread. A lot of carbs in general, really. Sam and I are vegan so obviously we’re the pickiest ones.

Sam: We’ll all do a team effort though and go for burritos or something like that.

Kaya: Morrison’s salad bar is sick!

All: Yes!

Chris: Pizza. We’ve had a lot of pizza this tour.

Kaya: A lot of Chinese food as well. Little boxes, those boxes from noodle bars. Stuff like that really.

Chris: Pretty much nothing healthy, though… Apart from those broccolis on the table. [They had a packet of raw broccoli sitting on the table in the dressing room next to an open pot of hummus…]

Kaya: Yeah I just like having raw broccoli with some hummus.

New tracks then, Parasite and Making Waves? What’s the story behind them?

Kaya: Oh yeah, you got them right! Well, Parasite really takes on the theme of the album we’re going to be recording soon. Parasite is a song that I wrote when I wanted to experiment with songwriting because normally I’d just go out and drink loads of coffee and do lyrics and that. Chris had this riff and this song written out and sent to me and I thought I’d try and write the song a bit intoxicated so I drank quite a lot this one night, wrote a load of lyrics, fell asleep, woke up the next morning and went over to Chris to put together the song. Parasite is all about the feeling you have of being invincible when you’re drunk but it’s a bit dirty as well, hence the name. Making Waves is just about being a rascal on a night out! [all laugh] You can take that as you want…

Chris: It was originally named something else but it didn’t really fit to the album ideas for the follow-up to Closure.

Kaya: Yeah, we kind of tweaked it. We used to play it last year because we didn’t have the Closure EP yet and Inside My Head wasn’t long enough for a full set so we wrote this extra song to fill out the set and it’s making it onto the album.

Is the album ready to record?

Chris: Yeah, we’re actually going into the studio next month.

How excited are you guys for the new Green Day album?

Kaya, Sam & Max: Not at all really.

Chris: I love Green Day but at the same time it’s just one of those things really.

Kaya: I respect them as a band of course, but it’s just not my thing.

Chris: I’ve been looking forward to it, I dabble in their stuff from time to time [laughs]. Big part of the childhood so I’ll definitely give it a listen.

What would be your ultimate gig lineup? You can either include yourselves or not, and it can be a band from history too…

Chris: Let’s pick four bands each! I’ve already got mine: it would be us, Slipknot headlining, Every Time I Die second and Children of Bodom.

Kaya: I’ll go: us, Every Time I Die and then The Smiths.

Max: I’d go The Wonder Years because they’re my favourite ever, but then Trivium as well and Metallica Black Album playthrough…

Sam: Funeral For A FriendTaking Back Sunday, us and Deftones.

Lauren Reading-Gloversmith, manager: Would you play a normal set for that or would you change it up?

Chris: No, we’d go full-on… [all laugh]

 

Huge thanks to Blood Youth for taking time out for us again, they’re a great live band as well as on record so check them out! Keep an eye out for the review of their London show too, coming up shortly…