Bring Me The Horizon

support The Secret Handshake + Dead Swans + Deez Nuts
author AP date 31/10/08 venue University, Southampton, UK

Going to a metal gig on Halloween was bound to be a strange experience, suffice to say, but I had not prepared myself for moshing Teletubbies. Speaking of which, while the boys in Bring Me The Horizon seem to have grown up and matured, their fans certainly haven't. Never before have I experienced a crowd so obnoxious, violent and indifferent, with some moshers surpassing even the most retarded of karate kids that I've seen. Seriously, moshing is one thing; using each other as platforms to launch yourself at the backs and necks of those in front is something else. It's stupid, and dangerous. Trying to start fights with people who grow fed up with such behavior and pacify you with a few well-aimed punches is even more stupid. The number of limping, bleeding, pissed off people on their way out after the show speaks for itself.

Deez Nuts

Tasked with opening the night is the Australian, ex-IKTPQ drummer JJ Peters' solo project Deez Nuts. Some people may recognize him for his guest vocals in Bring Me The Horizon's "Football Season is Over", but personally I was not even aware of his contribution to the song prior to the show tonight. Although his music is best described as a hybrid of rap and hardcore, it hardly deviates from the standard hardcore formula of excessive amounts of open string chugging. Putting that aside, there's plenty of groove present, too, and the band's energy on stage is high. Granted, that basically translates to jumping around non-stop, JJ pounding his chest and making some hip hop gestures, but at no point does it become boring. It's not very technical, nor is it very novel, but there's something very honest and convincing about his music, and it's expressed in a passionate way.


Dead Swans

Dead Swans step up the game with a more extreme and experimental form of hardcore, which with its delicate balance between ambient interludes and fast, in-your-face heavy passages brings to mind names like Misery Signals and The Psyke Project. The band's vocalist is more impressed than put off with the fight that nearly breaks out around me halfway into their set, embracing the opportunity to orchestrate the night's first circle pit only to turn their already explosive live presence into pure mayhem, and while most songs lack the groove factor, the band's experimental tendencies and energy on stage are enough to keep things interesting throughout.


The Secret Handshake

When one of Kanye West's melodies fills the room, I'm convinced that it must be some sort of joke. Well, it isn't. The Secret Handshake is apparently a dance project, which consists of Luis Dubuc and a drummer, and specializes in making cheesy electronic covers of already cheesy songs. I have nothing against electronic music, and even find myself enjoying a lot of it, but this is unacceptable. It seems to go down well with most of the crowd though in the everybody jumps kind of way, but for some, including myself, Dubuc's synthesized vocals are too much to swallow. Why Bring Me The Horizon have selected them as main support is beyond me, and while the music isn't relevant to the interests of our readers, for the sake of coherence I'll award them a grade based on the performance of the Teletubbies and mustard tubes that were invited to dance with him on stage.


Bring Me The Horizon

Bring Me The Horizon enter the stage one by one amid soundtracks for the respective superheroes that they are dressed as, and waste no time for introductions, launching straight into "Diamonds Aren't Forever". In a matter of minutes Oli, disguised as Superman, climbs onto of a speaker stack, yelling "I can fly!", and dives into the crowd. The magazines didn't exaggerate when they claimed these boys' show was all the rage at Vans Warped Tour, because there's hardly a breathing break in their explosive set. JJ Peters busts on stage during "Football Season is Over" to deliver his parts in that track, and the first half of the set seems to accelerate with every song, culminating in "It Was Written in Blood" before a moment of calm with the cheeky sample that precedes "No Need For Introductions..." There's plenty of old in there, too, in the form of "Pray For Plagues" and "Tell Slater Not to Wash His Dick", and it's these songs that stir up some of the most impressive moshpits I've seen, stretching across the entire venue.

Unfortunately it quickly becomes obvious that Oli Sykes cannot deliver live what he can on record. He runs out of breath mid-song repeatedly with the effect that his screams aren't sustained and he's forced to deliver the new style of vocals he adopted for "Suicide Season" in a manner that resembles talking rather than shouting. If you're in a band, you need to stay in shape - pure and simple. But although the vocal performance in the show is sub-par, the band's sheer energy keeps the show rocking. Luis Dubuc joins Oli on stage to do the clean vocals for "The Sadness Will Never End" in his usual, synthesized voice, making that song sound like a happy disco tune instead of the dose of despair it's supposed to be. "Traitors Never Play Hangman" and "For Stevie Wonder's Eyes Only" cancel out the disappointment though, and "Chelsea Smile" as the closer leaves most of us impressed and screaming "I know something you don't know!"



Photos courtesy of Martin Foot and Benji Walker

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