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Bury Tomorrow - Islington Academy, London - October 4 2013 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 08 October 2013 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Sweat. Violence. Weird-looking people. All three of these elements are key attributes for a successful metal show, and here they're all present and correct. Having sold out the majority of the tour well in advance (a stupendous feat for a British band so early in their career), Bury Tomorrow are to blame.

Unfortunately, Heart In Hand have finished their set by the time my donkey of a tube carriage arrives in Angel. Empress swiftly followed, and while their hardcore-tinged progressive angst may work at their own shows, it just doesn't pick up here. Maybe it's the fact that the whole crowd is leaking all sorts of bodily fluids anticipating the arrival of the next two acts; maybe it's just the fact that Empress are the sore thumb that prominently sticks out on this bill. They fail to capture the attention of the audience, which is a real shame. Receiving polite applause, the band leave the stage without ever really taking off.

Who starts their set knee-deep in a sea of paying punters? Why, Lee Tobin of Feed The Rhino does! Armed with a truly glorious beard and a truly vicious voice, Tobin leads the charge with ease. The reaction this band gets is just ridiculous; if you just walked in now and didn't know what gig this was, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the headliner.

Demanding circle pits all over the shop and leaping from the speakers like an overly hairy lemming, Tobin truly is one of the most captivating frontmen on the UK hardcore scene. Smashing through a set of crowd-pleasers including Mr Red Eye and the epic Tides, Feed The Rhino are onto something truly special here.

Not ones to piss about, Bury Tomorrow accept the challenge offered by Feed The Rhino, tearing on stage while churning out the anthemic throes of Redeemer. Starting a gig with one of your best known songs is a bold move, but the band know exactly what this audience wants, pummelling them with bursts of melodic hardcore until blood is spilled. The band is energetic to the point of collapsing, shit-eating grins plastered across their young faces. Circle pits explode during breakdowns, singalongs are incited during the choruses. The crowd is truly second-to-none, lapping up everything frontman Daniel Winter-Bates tells them like it's gospel.

The songs are only one element of Bury Tomorrow's incendiary live show. Bass player Davyd Winter-Bates demands people on shoulders, circle pits and a 'twerking pit' (results are poor). A girl is pulled up on stage only to be told she is to participate in a crowd-surfing race...with a bloke dressed as Spiderman.

The true highlight comes with recent single Knight Life. The entire audience is made to get on the ground, a la Slipknot, but when instructed to lay on the ground...well, this is a whole new bag. When the green light is given, a heaving mass of bodies attempts to lift from the floor at once. Pandemonium ensues. A guy dressed in a furry blue onesie rolls around helplessly, trapped under his friend (also clad in a onesie). A middle-aged bloke who looks like Fatboy Slim propels himself above everyone, falling flat on his face. The onesie guy is over the barrier, high-fiving Winter-Bates. It makes no sense whatsoever. And it's bloody brilliant.

Ending with the inevitable Lionheart, Bury Tomorrow emerge victorious. A lesser band would have crumbled under the pressure of following Feed The Rhino, but Bury Tomorrow prove their worth, delivering the goods to an obscenely hyped-up crowd. Metalcore may be seen as something of a dirty word nowadays, but judging from tonight, you wouldn't have guessed.



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