Who: Fathoms / Lifetight / MSRY
Where: The Victoria, Birmingham
Before I start this review, I need to be honest and say I completely missed the headlining bands set. Shocking, I know. In my defence, the traffic in Birmingham City Centre was fucking dogshit that night and it took me over an hour to drive a couple of miles back to the motorway. I could have crawled that distance quicker, just using my dick to push me along. What a fucking joke. I also missed most of ‘A Titan, A Deity’ and ‘Fade:Decay’ as I was interviewing the lads from LifeTight in the back of their tour bus so this is going to be a rather short write up.
Missing bands wasn’t the only faux-pas I made that night. Parking in the NCP across the road from The Victoria wasn’t one of my better decisions (more about that later). As I walked up to the doors of The Vic, a group of shady looking lads in the back of a transit van shouted over to me. In my ignorance, I thought it was the guys from LifeTight as I’d messaged them earlier that day to arrange an interview. So I dive straight in the van, start chatting shit and I’m about to whip out my……..microphone (did you think I was going to say dick? What is wrong with you??) but then I suddenly realised I wasn’t talking to LifeTight. The dodgy looking buggers in the slice pan (that’s cockney for van) were actually members of Fathoms! And had only been drawn to me due to the enormity of my strange and weird. (Ok, I hear ya. Enough of the mockney shit. Fuck knows why I’ve gone all Danny Dyer tonight. Good padding for a short review though eh?).
I had messaged Fathoms earlier that day to see if they would be up for an interview, but they never got back to me, so I didn’t bother getting the recording kit out and instead, just had a casual chat. This was the final farewell tour for the band and while speaking about the reasons they were throwing in the towel, they seemed quite bitter about the whole music business in general. The usual culprits were listed such as the lack of support from their record label during the release of their last album and the pressures of balancing a ‘real’ job while touring. I felt quite sorry for them as they looked a bit burnt out and quite jaded. A bit like me after a Saturday night on the booze and the beak. They did say that the tour had been bitter/sweet for them, however, as although they were gutted about the band finishing, they’d played some great shows and felt like they were passing the torch, so to speak, to the young whippersnappers in LifeTight. Nice!
I finally managed to drag my sorry ass up the stairs of The Victoria and into a tiny room where upon entering, I almost fell into a seizure, shat my pants and hit the deck. MSRY from Oxford were playing some super gnarly crust/hardcore/partymetal(?!) very loudly and with a strobe light going ballistic which made for a quite unsettling, yet also pleasurable, experience. I only caught two songs but they were enough to make me grab the vocalist afterwards and get his deets as I wanted to play their music on my radio show ‘In The Pit’ (which I did last week. Episode #15 if you’re interested).
It was at this point that I grabbed Tom from LifeTight and went off into the back of another transit van to conduct an interview, (which is available for you to listen back to on the Midlands Metalheads website), so I completely missed both ‘A Titan, A Deity’ and ‘Fade:Decay’. I heard from a buddy of mine that one was a tech/djent band and the other a deathcore outfit with two vocalists. That’s all I know I’m afraid.
As if the attic room of The Victoria wasn’t hot enough already, it was about to cook like a Z-lister on celebrity masterchef. I’d been listening to LifeTight’s 4-track EP in the car on the way up to the venue and I picked up a NYHC influence. Hints of Hatebreed, Sworn Enemy and even Biohazard sprang to my mind, however, it was a totally different story watching them play live. They sound more nu-metal than hardcore! Crazy eh?! The guys did allude to me during the interview that I was a bit off with my comparisons and that they were bringing back the nu-metal flava’s of bands like Limp B-I-Z-K-I-T. I wasn’t sure whether this was a joke when they said it, but I didn’t have to wait long to see that they were serious. And let me be clear right now, it’s not something to be balked at.
They play a high-energy blend of nu-metal and hardcore with some serious groove topped with super posi messages in the lyrics. Tom mentioned to me several times earlier that night that the band were all about spreading the PMA (that’s positive mental attitude btw) just like Bad Brains pioneered in the 80’s.
LifeTight took to the stage and hit the crowd HARD. After the first song, frontman Tom encouraged the crowd to “Take 2 steps forward. No one will hurt you. This is your safe place now.” thereby re-enforcing the bands positive message and vibe. Nice. He then dedicated the next song “to all the snakes, liars and fools” (where did the love go dude?) and following the penultimate song of the set, they showed their appreciation to the crowd by saying “thanks for sticking around in this fucking hot box tonight. Keep supporting your scene as there’s far too many venues closing.” Never a truer word spoken. I wondered whether he’d heard the sad news about The Flapper closing its doors? They ended with the barnstormer, ‘Dreams’ from their self-TIGHTled EP (see what they did there?) and received a rapturous applause from everyone in the room and shouts for more, despite the place being hotter than satans pecker in a pair of thermal underpants. Band of the night for realz yo.
I had to get outside for a breather at this point and spent some more time chatting to the LifeTight lads. After noticing the traffic steadily building up in the City Centre, I made the decision to ‘0121-Do-One’ (as they say in Birmingham) as I had to get back for my dog, (who if left for too long might well get the hump and take a shit on my pillow as a kind of dirty protest), but not before I popped my head back into the venue to catch some of Fathoms. My luck was out though as they had cut their set short due to the vocalist suffering from tonsillitis. Bummer! I realised my luck was fading fast when I got to the NCP car park, only to be charged 10 FUCKING QUID after only being parked a couple of hours. Obviously, I dialled 999 to let the police know I’d been robbed.
FUCK YOU NCP YOU CUUUUUUUUUUUUUNTS!