With such an eclectic mix of genres, the old and young and backgrounds on this tour just with the line up, not to mention the sudden and drastic change of Letlive themselves, nobody knew quite what to expect of this tour. Will Letlive still be as surreal on stage? Will they even have stage presence anymore? What of the supports? Well, this show well and truly blew those questions out of the water.
First up are local band Aurora, a band I am proud to say came out of my local area hailing a schizophrenic stage presence going from lulling and melodic to screeching and bouncing off the walls of the venue. Vocalist Jessica Calvesbert, my new favourite woman in music right now, breaks all conceptions of female fronted bands by whipping the crowd into frenzy herself. Instead of simply asking for a raucous, she creates the raucous herself making her own circle pit, screaming in people’s faces, shouting and stomping, then at the end of it all saying a quiet thank you.
Second support The American Scene received mixed reviews, despite the music being utterly flawless blending from one song into the next creating one beautiful melodic symphony, yet despite this they failed to engage the crowd. The simple fact is this, they don’t have stage presence. Musically they are absolutely fantastic yet they are stiff as boards and cripplingly shy somewhat on stage. It makes for a slightly boring watch, it tantalizes the ears but it’s easy to fall out of love with this band very quickly.
Night Verses utterly destroyed the stage following this with their mix of electronic sound and raw live performance. The band seemed almost choreographed as they moved as one fluid union, sometimes around each other sometimes as one as they all stand and clap to the crowd in spine-tingling silent bursts within their songs. The band rarely kept to the stage with vocalist Douglas Robinson right over the top of the crowd belting their lyrics with every other member coming as close to the edge of the stage as humanly possible without toppling over the edge. For a relatively new band, they managed to mould the audience into the palms of their hands within minutes of being onstage, leaving an incredibly hard act to follow.
Saying this, Letlive could follow any band and this they did, in fact the y did not just blow the acts out the water they practically blew the whole room apart. Coming on to a truly haunting into and plunging into Banshee, the band are in usual face-melting style with their strange infusion of hardcore punk, beautiful melody… And bongos. The show was just as surreal as the various other times I’ve seen this band, particular from icon of rock (as named by Kerrang!) vocalist Jason Butler, who was in a particularly strange mood throwing said bongos across the stage and screaming into them, trashing the kit, scaling the room via the metal bars holding the ceiling together and running across the bar dismantling decorations from the walls. It’s not just about the stage, or indeed room, presence with this band, musically they are out of this world, ending on an incredibly touching version of Muther with a heart-rending speech about the importance of Butler’s mother in the success of his band, featuring guest vocals from Calvesbert of Aurora to send the show out on an emotional high, leaving the audience gasping for breath.