It’s brisk December and In Search Of Sun hold the task of warming the crowd up for the evening. There’s only about 20 people in the room by the time the band take the stage but if you didn’t turn around to look at the gaping empty floor you wouldn’t know it given the intensity the band bring. The jazzy guitars in Elevation make for a unique track but it’s the nameless last track that gets the most attention “it’s called secret Santa for now.” Vocalist Adam Leader explains continued with “Ho Fuckin’ Ho” which earns a laugh from the crowd.
SHVPES, formly known as Cytota, now have Griffin Dickinson taking the vocal reins full time and the band are reaping the benefit. Totally disregarding the crowds unwillingness to ‘start a pit’ when asked, their first track State of Mine is a rowdy and wild, totally deserving of the crowd to loose all sense of control. Their band-titled track SHVPES is what you see, and hear, is what you get. Melodic metalcore with more accessible clean vocals than your average metalcore band. They deserved a better reception from the Manchester crowd, Griffin took matters into his own hands and climbing into the crowd to start his own pit on their last track.
Nothing More make an a sublime entrance with Christ Copyright, a bundle untameable vigour, drums-a-plenty and far-out lyrics based on selling religion. Frontman Jonny Hawkins proves to be everything you would want a vocalist to be; commanding, energetic and a voice just as enthralling at the high points as the lows. Something Nothing More like to do, and do extremely well is experimental use of their instruments and Christ Copyright starts with a raging drum introduction from both the drummer and Hawkins who presents his own drum set at the front of the stage.
Rolling right into another heavy hitting anthem, Mr. MTV with the most ridiculously infectious chorus and groovy melodies and when First Punch hits, the band have the crowd completely enthralled. The Matthew Effect is taken to another level with the introduction of a neat little voice altering piece of equipment that sends Hawkins’ voice into the experimental realms of electronics. I’ll Be OK and Here’s To The Heartache are a double whammy of slow yet intense tracks where Hawkins’ voice gleams over everything.
Towards the end of the set, Jenny is obviously something the crowd has been waiting for. From first line to last, the crowd come alive. In true Nothing More fashion, the chorus is the point when the song flips on it’s head. Going from a slow melodic sing-a-long to an attack of vicious rhythms. This Is The Time (Ballast) including the flawlessly presented Ocean Floor introduction is what Nothing More are all about, vocals going from gritty screams to the highest pitch chorus complimented by instrumentals that feel like a slap to the face. For a band that don’t believe in encores they ended the set with Salem (Burn The Witch), without the needless break in-between when everyone in the audience knows that the band will re-emerge for their ‘actual’ final song, and it felt quite refreshing. Every last ounce of energy poured into the final song but it’s the drum sequence that was the most fascinating to watch. Two drums mounted on either side of the stage played by guitarist Mark Vollelunga and bassist Daniel Oliver, whilst Hawkins again on his drum set centre stage. Nothing can ever be said to fully explain the full atmosphere this band represent live, you just have to go see for yourself.