by Ben Adsett
Some nights are just made for hot gigs, and a packed barn on an early October evening is the perfect place to warm up…
Instead of asking the crowd to come to them Wretched World are polite enough to come to the audience as the vocal portion joins the crowd for the whole set. This changes the dynamic of the entire show; the mood is intimate (or as intimate as technical hard-core can be). This small step towards the crowd made a memorable atmosphere almost instantly and as the final notes rang out and the audience picked up their jaws from the floor it is clear that Wretched World have the stage craft of a band who have played many more than three shows.
A Werewolf continue to bring the show to the crowd and also bring the drums with them. Not only do the two piece make an incredible amount of noise, they are also incredibly technical. With a set list developing and mutating with every song there are nods towards math rock, grind core, metal and hardcore often within each song. Once more this was a set that required a few seconds for the dust to settle as they walked away from an enthused audience.
Guillotine have a lot to live up to as they take the stage. It turns out this is their first mistake, after the intimacy of the last two acts there was a less personal feel to the act standing before the audience on a stage. This is just unfortunate timing as Guillotine hammered through a solid set of clever alt rock. they Tare clearly talented musicians and there was a good level of performance to their set. Sadly they just lacked the chaos of the two acts that preceded them.
As the room filled up and reached heatwave temperatures, Brutus started a set which started with incredible momentum; they’re playing like they have hit the peak at the end of a set from the start. This proved to be deceptive as song on song they just get better, tighter, more intense and louder.
In a band where guitar and bass parts are incredibly complex and bounce of each other effortlessly the stand out performance is coming from behind the drums. Drummer and vocalist Stefanie Mannaerts never drops a beat. Vocally there is a delicate combination of both beauty and power; this contrasting delicate and strong delivery drops jaws a level lower. For forty five minutes there is an incredibly hot, full room transfixed by this three piece and when they turn to leave the stage there is another pause as people regain their breath and comprehend the brilliance they have just experienced.
I think Brutus might just have jumped to the top of some gig of the year lists…