LIVE REVIEW: Heck & Black Peaks, Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 13/09/16

A showcase of the best math rock and post hardcore bands hit the road on one of the craziest co-headlining tours to date. Heck and Black Peaks have exploded into their respective scenes with force, setting the bar high for other bands. Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms was one of the venues brave enough to endure the havoc filled 12 date tour, as 200 people cram into it’s enclosed walls.

Warming up the night for their final time of the tour, Bad Sign assert their stage dominance. Imagine Lower Than Atlantis with hints of hardcore and maths rock and you have a sound like no other. From the get go, guitarist Jonathan finds himself leaping from one side of the stage to the other as vocalist Joe has to compose himself to deliver the blinding lyrics to The Recidivist. Even drummer Kevin finds himself hitting the drums with such force a sand bag is needed to anchor down his bass drum from moving any further forward. Although it is clear that the majority of the crowd probably haven’t heard of bad sign before, the bobbing heads and slight movement amongst the crowd clearly shows their impressive performance have turned some heads and potential fans. [7/10]

Bad Sign - Nathan Heffernan Photography
Bad Sign – Nathan Heffernan Photography

It was a some what paradoxical that Matt announces his disgust in the barrier separating him from the crowd as it only takes a matter of seconds for him to launch his mic stand into the crowd, and for him to climb over the barrier. This is Heck. Opening with the first song off their album, Instructions, Good As Dead  opens the room into a whole new level of chaos as half of the crowd end up slipping on the floor during the mosh pit. The Slade Rooms was probably their most ‘boring’ room of the tour with not much apparatus for them to climb. But this doesn’t stop them taking matters into their own hands as Jonny wheels tables into the middle of the crowd to climb upon. Old fan favourite Powerboat Disaster gets the whole crowd singing in chorus, with nearly every member of the crowd trying to grab the mic off Matt. And if 45 minutes of climbing on merch tables, amps and peoples shoulders wasn’t enough, the room gets split directly down the centre for the biggest wall of death the Slade Rooms have probably experienced. Heck probably isn’t everyones cup of tea, but even if you don’t like the music, it goes without doubt their live performance is probably the strongest out of any band ever right now. [10/10]

Heck - Nathan Heffernan Photography
Heck – Nathan Heffernan Photography

A breather was needed for the room to gather themselves before tonights headliners Black Peaks took to the stage. They have certainly grown since the last time we saw them back in February this year; sporting supporting slots in Wembley Arena with the mighty Deftones and numerous festivals across the UK and Europe, the crowd size clearly shows their growth in just a few months. Opening the night with the powerful White Eyes, the four piece set the mood for as the crowd somehow find the energy to break out into more mosh pits. Drones highlights the sheer power in Will’s voice, maintaining ferocious screams for up to 20 seconds as he leans towards the crowd. Single Saviour further demonstrates how tight the band are live, performing face melting math rock riffs which change time signature every few seconds and still maintaining in time. Closing their set with fan favourite Glass Built Castles, the crowd draw every last ounce of energy to close the show on a high. We said it back in February, Black Peaks are “going to be huge” and we weren’t wrong, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. [9/10]

Black Peaks - Nathan Heffernan Photography
Black Peaks – Nathan Heffernan Photography


LIVE REVIEW: Basement – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

Close, confined and sweaty: a perfect setting for Ipswich alt-rock 5 piece Basement to provide their comeback in Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms. Following their 2 year long hiatus and the release of their album Promise Everything, the band took to the road on a full 14 date tour, including a headline slot at 2000 Trees Festival.


A respectable crowd welcomed The Sun Days to open the night. Travelling from Sweden, the indie pop band provided simple yet effective guitar sounds and riffs to spark some swaying in the crowd. Vocalist Lea also showed her remarkable talents, holding notes seamlessly to the chorus of Don’t Need To Be Them. The band as a whole was also tight, holding to the beat and showing creative improvisation between songs. However, it was clear that the crowd was unfamiliar with the band, which seemed to drag down the general atmosphere of the room. Yet by the end of the set, it was clear the band had swayed some new fans. [7/10]

The Sun Days-2

The grunge rock trio Dinosaur Pile-Up was up next and they didn’t hesitate on making their presence known. Guitarist Matt squeezes every ounce of tone out of his Gibson Explorer to open the set with Red and Purple. Pointing out band shirts in the crowd, it is clear the band had brought out a following of fans as Might As Wellgains a huge response with the crowd drowning out Matt on vocals. The gritty bass is ever dominant, heavily distorted and punching through the entire band’s sound to drive every song. Closing their powerful set with fan favourite 11:11, the crowd shows hesitant signs of opening up a small mosh pit which would of been the icing on the cake to an energy fuelled set. [8/10]

Dinosaur Pile-Up-2

The opening riff to Whole welcomes Basement to the stage as hands rise up to sing the lyrics back to the band. Pink backlights silhouette them presenting a gloomy aesthetic for the entire set. Transitioning into a newer song off their recent album, it is clear that Aqua Sun is a new fan favourite as Andrew (vocalist) is totally drowned out by the crowd. For a few moments the room get to catch their breath as Earl Grey gets the crowd swaying side to side before a mosh pit erupts as the song fully kicks in. Fisher outlines his upset in the “large gap between [us] and the stage” and that usually it “wouldn’t be there”. This didn’t stop the crowd one bit as Cricket Throw Their Voice seemed to get everyone and everybody surfing over the barriers. The band maintained a nice contrast between the fast and chilled back songs as Oversized and Pine calm the crowd down before Covet draws the set to an end. Yet again, Fisher is totally overwhelmed by the crowds sound during the opening lines whilst the remainder of the crowd finds themselves surfing to the front. Basement are back, and stronger than ever; just as well with a line up of shows over the next few months, including a slot at Reading & Leeds. [9/10]