The Dead XIII, Annisokay, Forever Never, Fearless Vampire Killers
@ Soundcontrol, Manchester
12th May, 2015
Review by Toria Morgan
Photography by Jas Stephenson
The Dead XIII kicked off the night in quite the energetic fashion. These guys are from Manchester themselves so it must have been fun to play to a home crowd. They seemed to really know what they were doing and I have heard they are gathering quite the momentum on the scene. The band is made up of lead vocalist Kurt Blackshard, on guitar, vocals and synth is Symon Strange, on lead guitar is Ste Mahoney, on bass is Paul Ryan, and on drums is Spike Owen.
They fall under the genre of ‘Horror Metal’ and their look definitely meets the criteria! I saw big hair, black and white makeup and fashion sense that any self respecting fan of the scene would appreciate. They had real talent and though I hadn’t heard of them previous to the gig I was quite impressed and happy that they were from my home town. It seems they have already shared stages with many other big names and appear to be making waves.
I enjoyed the way they presented themselves, they seemed likable and judging by the crowd reaction, they were well received, I saw bobbing heads and approving looks between audience members.
Forever Never were up next, my personal favourites of the night. The Essex based five piece is made up of Renny Carroll the vocalist, Kevin Yates on bass, George Lenox on guitar, Frank Ransom on guitar and Sam Curtis on drums. These guys have their own brand of ‘Melodic Rock’ and I thoroughly enjoyed their set from start to finish. The have an excellent front man in Renny Carroll, he was so energetic and into the music, talented with a huge stage presence. I found him an extremely likable character, his grin was infectious and his on stage personality alone had me smiling and enjoying myself.
Then there is their music. What a treat it is. A mixture of vocal styles with a definite rock and roll backing sound really, really worked! There was one song in particular ‘You’re The Voice’ that caught my attention. It was anthemic and catchy. It was as though I had heard it before and recognised it even though I hadn’t. This was the kind of song that would have the power to chart in the mainstream as well as the rock scene if it was given the right opportunity. I could see it being played to massive audiences of a festival or stadium scenario…
Out of all the bands that played on this night, these were the most enjoyable to me personally. I know the crowd were there for The Fearless Vampire Killers but I liked these guys. I could see them playing to giant arenas and worldwide stadium tours, to be honest I genuinely hope that they do. They had a great look that didn’t require them to try too hard since they had a fantastic sound and didn’t need a single gimmick to carry them through. I was so entertained that I forgot to watch the crowd’s reaction to them, since I was so swept up in my own enjoyment. I’m pretty sure everyone was the same way though.
Annisokay were up next. This band is made up of Dave Grunewald – shout vocals, Christoph Wieczorek provided clean vocals and guitar, Norbert Rose on bass, Daniel Herrmann on drums and Philipp Kretzschmar on guitar. They categorize themselves under the genre of ‘Hardcore Rock’ and quite rightly so. The German based band played well to the English crowd and provided good entertainment and energy. Their sound was a little heavier than the rest of the bands but they fit in well with the night and were well received.
These guys have quite a following it would seem and I liked their mixture of interesting vocals. They were all extremely talented individuals, they had good crowd interaction and their sound was clean. They were clearly into their performance, bouncing around and head bobbing. Clearly these guys have a great love for being on stage and the crowd seemed to be into it too.
Next up Fearless Vampire Killers. The crowd was small it was almost entirely made up of teenage girls, but they could appeal to all in my opinion. They were wildly enthusiastic and responsive as a crowd. Though they were few in number for this particular venue, it seems the fandom force is strong with these ones and their followers clearly adore them.
In all fairness the girls at the front reminded me of teen me loving the likes of My Chemical Romance or Panic At The Disco. I’m guessing that maybe we are seeing the rise of this generation’s version of a band in the same category. Even though it would appear that they were formed around the same era, this is their time to shine.
For those unfamiliar with Fearless Vampire Killers, the band comprises of Laurence Beveridge, Kier Kemp, Drew Woolnough, Cyrus Barrone and Luke Illingworth. Their sound is ‘Death Pop’ but I would categorise it as kind of a super catchy ‘punk rock meets late naughties pop rock meets alternative rock.’ But that’s kind of a mouthful so maybe ‘Death Pop’ works best.
The band were very well received by their fans and I was quite entertained by both of the front men. Laurence Beveridge had more of a ‘Billie Joe’ meets ‘Gerard Way’ vibe but the other seemed to be pioneering different influences. Their sound was extremely polished and well rehearsed, but there performance wasn’t stiff, it was natural and enjoyable. I could see these guys playing the giant venues, clearly the rest of the scene can too since they are playing the Download Festival this year.
Their tunes were really easy to listen to, the sound almost dragged you in and held your attention fully. They had me nodding along while the rest of the crowd danced and jumped around happily. They had excellent audience interaction and were openly grateful for their followers which was lovely to see. They were entertaining and had good presence. They had obvious musical and lyrical talent I commend them for it.
They had a distinct way of calming down the mood with slower, more raw songs and then picking it back up again without looking back. The crowd sang along with their tunes, shouting their lyrics back at them, words which obviously meant so much to each individual. They certainly ended their set with a bang, on a huge high note they left the audience wanting more and I even saw one of them doing a small meet and great, since not a single fan actually left the building when the set was over.
These guys have amazing talent, they are extremely good live and they put on a great show, I look forward to seeing them at Download!