Live: Fearless Vampire Killers + support, Sound Control, Manchester, 12.05.2015

In the basement of Manchester’s Sound Control tonight are four bands- two of which are looking satisfyingly macabre, all four of which are providing an undeniably great soundtrack of alternative rock and metal to this chilly Tuesday eve.

Off to a ground-shaking start are local band, the Dead XIII- who literally look like they just crawled out of their graves to play the show. Their look is wonderfully horror-inspired, whilst bands such as the Defiled and Motionless In White could lay claim to being more than just a small influence here. Thanks to this quintet, the show’s opening is fuelled by a dose of horror-punk, delivered in a funereal yet fervent fashion.

Forever Never may be slightly further down in the aesthetic stakes, however a fresh yet still strangely familiar brand of metallic rock, executed with undeniable energy is their game. Soon after they arrive on stage, it’s evident that theatrics have given way to melodies laden with funky riffs that clearly strike a chord with Fearless Vampire Killers’ fans. Their cover of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice soars, while older track Empty Promises punctuates the show with the most impeccable bridge yet.IMG_1672A perfect example of not judging a book by its cover, can be learned from watching Annisokay slay the stage in Sound Control during their main support slot. Whilst walking around the venue prior to the show, vocalist Dave Grunewald looks shy, and very much approachable. This illusion is soon shattered when the same man- this time in the form of a snarling, vehement being- leaps onto the stage, glaring with rasping breath at the crowd below him. Day To Day Tragedy delivers a biting blow, which in all its riotous tumult feels almost cathartic. Likewise with Wolves In The Walls, before it is followed by Carry Me Away, which leaves the German contingent of this tour able to leave the stage confident in the knowledge they gave this crowd a good shake-up before the turn of the headliners.IMG_1719Fearless Vampire Killers’ live shows throw shade on all of the negativity they face and have faced as a band- not only do they unequivocally embrace their individuality, they thrive off it. Neon In The Dance Halls drops first as an immediate dance anthem vocalised by Laurence Beveridge, who’s dramatized persona steals the show and allows the crowd to feel comfortable enough to let go a little more too, under the circumstances. Bow Ties On Dead Guys sees Kier Kemp take his turn on the mic, and this older song perfectly epitomises the darkness of FVK. As the riffs jar while Kier lords over the crowd from atop the front of stage amplifiers, it’s clear that on stage is where this band excel. There’s a pause in the proceedings as the band allows their fans to choose what song they do next, and while Kier mans the level of screams for Fetish For The Finite, Laurence takes Exploding Heart Disorder. The former is the hands down winner, and Laurence’s impromptu weighted scream plunges the crowd back into their conceptual world of Grandomina with the almost Victorian-sounding fan choice.IMG_2302The Halloween-inspired riffs of All Hallows Evil are irresistible, before the whole band leave the stage, save Kier and drummer Luke who comes forward to play the keyboards for a poignant rendition of Brave The Night. The duo are soon joined by bassist Drew, who provides additional vocals as this intimate moment draws to a close. Maeby perhaps has the best energy of the night, and while it may be oddly spelt, in both performance and audience reaction it is executed perfectly. Could We Burn Darling? sees Laurence at his most theatrical, perhaps in his comfort zone with this older track, and its exactly these moments that make Fearless Vampire Killers such an excellent live band. The confidence and conviction FVK emanate is exactly the reason why they made it where they are today- in spite of record label trouble or any negativity- their aim was to put out an album their fans would love, and times like this show they managed to do exactly that. As this tour draws to a close, it’s time for them to take on and destroy their second stage slot at next month’s Download Festival.

Fearless Vampire KillersFacebook/Twitter

Annisokay: Facebook/Twitter

Forever Never: Facebook/Twitter

The Dead XIII: Facebook/Twitter

Photography by Erin Moore at Forte Photography UK

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