Everyone is talking about Creeper. Their debut album was released only last week, and yet they’re already headlining venues like Leeds’ Stylus- spurred on by the overwhelmingly good reception their first full length offering- Eternity, In Your Arms- has received.
Support for this tour comes firstly from Puppy. Their unexpectedly dark, metal-tinged grunge eases tonight’s crowd in. New song Beast is especially dream-like with some morbid connotations. Closing with Entombed, they leave on a heavy, yet oddly chilled out note.Energy- the American contingent of this tour, at first seem to be taking time to find their feet. However, after vocalist Jason ‘Tank’ Tankerly admits he is suffering with his throat, the performance becomes all about his resilience in making it to the end of the set. Energy soldier on regardless and seem to find their stride somewhere in the set. Encapsulating a very AFI influenced sound, Witching Hour is an intense highlight, with all of the track’s elements coming to life in a live setting, rather than just remaining in the background of the recorded version. Unfortunately, Tank finds he can no longer continue, and while offering his sincerest apologies, they cut their set short after an emotional and still perfectly executed rendition of They- during which Tank surely expenses the last of his energy on the final scream before leaving the stage.Milk Teeth are a brilliant newer asset to the UK’s punk-rock scene. Pulling off some Hole kind of vibes with all the necessary conviction, Milk Teeth work the stage as easily as if it were their own headline show- all the while making it seem effortless. Brickwork is a frenzied yet melodic opener, while Crows Feet is mellower. Kabuki is even more so- a personal and sensitive stamp of their set, which in all its imperfections, makes for a flawless and poignant moment.Creeper have come a million miles in the past year or so. From a supporting slot with Neck Deep, to packing out rooms to the point of people having to be turned away during their allotted sets at festivals such as Camden Rocks and Slam Dunk- all off the back of just three EPs, here they finally are on their own headline tour in support of their first full length album. Current single Black Rain instantly establishes that Creeper’s live show has also taken a step up with the release of their album, and the addition of so many new songs to their set.
Their black and purple colour scheme remains, utilised in the way of six glowing, purple crosses across the back of the stage, just in front of the podiums where drummer Dan Bratton and keyboardist Hannah Greenwood are situated. Black Mass is, as ever, an audience rousing setlist staple, whereas The Honeymoon Suite (as well as many of the older songs) seems to have a new, slicker lease of life. Down Below carries a modern kind of Ramones vibe in the verses, while the chorus is nothing less than downright infectious- mere days after the album’s release and this track spurs one of the loudest crowd sing-a-longs yet. The slower second half of the song takes on a different form on stage as opposed to record, manifesting in its wonderfully powerful piano driven bridge.When the band leave the stage and its just Hannah and Ian left, Hannah takes on the role of lead vocals for Crickets. Both these two harmonise so well together, and Hannah’s incredible vocals make this a stand-alone, touching moment in an otherwise completely invigorated set. “We’re going to play a really fucking fast one, so I want to see some of you over this barrier!” is what precedes Astral Projections- probably Creepers’ most clamorous live track. Returning to the stage after the encore, frontman Will Gould addresses his fans- “I keep saying this every night, but it feels like something more than a rock show going on in here”, before backing up his own point impeccably with the beautiful Misery- which draws things to the most impassioned of closes. Taking into account the current calibre of their live show, as well as the fact they are facing a summer in the US on Warped Tour, as well as a slot on the main stage at Download Festival- and now Eternity, In Your Arms has been released, the future really could not look brighter for Creeper right now.Photos by Forte Photography UK