Bury Tomorrow

support Feed The Rhino + Empress + Heart In Hand
author JWM date 26/09/13 venue The Mo Club, Southampton, UK

It's hard to believe that tonight's venue the Mo'club is normally a roller skating ring. A well decorated warehouse in Southampton that gives much enjoyment in the day, has for the last two years been giving as much enjoyment in the night because for the last two years they have found a new way of making money by doubling as a decent 500 capacity venue and hosting a variety of talented bands including Architects, Bastille and Gojira. This is a very smart move as there is a polarisation between the sizes of venues in the city and the Mo'cub has become more helpful middle. But tonight they host the first date on Bury Tomorrow's first headline tour for three years. Aptly starting such a well-selling, highly anticipated tour of the UK in their home town, Bury Tomorrow has compiled the line-up with a few of Britain's best underground hardcore punk bands.

All pictures courtesy of Ryan Carter

Heart In Hand

With most of their members hailing from both Bournemouth and Southampton themselves this is as much an apt tour spot for Heart In Hand as it is for the headliners. Opening with the aggression of "Life Goes On..." they display their modernised, metalcore-influenced melodic hardcore instantly to the mainly static crowd. The crowd gets more involved by the second song "Tunnels" as their singer Charlie Holmes really starts jumping about and gets really close to the crowd.

They sound good but I can't help but hear moments of sloppiness, as they don't seem to be a particularly tight band live, especially when you compare to the bands coming up next. By the the time they play "Almost There" a lot more of the crowd is loosening up and really getting into it. "Almost There" is a very melodic, 'heart on your sleeve' songs where Holmes strains his tortured screams to their limit. But it's very apparent that he is pushing himself too much as bassist Carl Martin has to come in and give supporting screams while he rests his voice for the odd line. Despite the band's fans going crazy and moshing and screaming whilst the band made their way through the final songs of their set "Broken Lights", "Home/Sick" and "Only Memories" the five-piece looks exhausted, if not perhaps a bit bored a times.

Empress

Up next is the recently formed Empess which to the surprise of many actually doesn't have a single female member. Despite their recent reformation in 2011 they've had a great opportunity of touring with Bring Me The Horizon earlier this year, but it's genuinely quite a surprise that they've played above Heart In Hand. Very little of the people in the crowd knew who they were and due to the four piece being occupied constantly they didn't exactly interact with the crowd. But despite that lack of tour experience they still craft music well, as haunting guitar chimes resonate through the building as they come on-stage and display their metallic anger introducing "Invisible Conductor". Despite their lack of movement they compensate by utilising a lot of lighting effects, strobes, moving search lights, anything to help generate an atmosphere that they are too busy or too introverted to develop themselves.

But despite their best efforts of showing themselves off, it shows that their recent tour activity has only broadened their reach rather than getting them new fans, as the near static crowd have thought-provoking stares as they watch through-out "Deeper In Disguise" and "Left in Awe". The music is progressive metal with an alternative metal edge, like a mellowed out Gojira at times. Their vocalist Ollie Loring has quite a good singing voice and at times has a Mathew Bellamy-ish tinge to it, something that with time and with training can be honed to contribute to some excellent soundscapes. They are definitely not one of the most talkative bands, their introversion surfacing through-out as they just get their heads down and play, occasionally thanking everyone for listening.

Feed the Rhino

Opening with with a incomprehensible spoken word introduction as bass flattens all of the recorded voice, the band walks on with instant affection from the crowd. As it the room suddenly goes dark the music cuts, only for the lights to flash on and show Feed the Rhino's singer Lee Tobin right in the crowd, and so the chaos begins. For every strength the previous bands had, Feed The Rhino excelled beyond, and for every issue they had, was not a problem. For whatever this band plays, it isn't as important to the performance as their sheer quality as performers. They are the tightest so far, throwing themselves around almost constantly and yet never crashing into each other, and yet they always have time to make eye contact with the crowd. They crowd themselves are manic as wall of deaths, circle pits and dancing is near constant.

For a moment I'm thinking "The singer is good, but he isn't as as mad as Jason Butler from letlive." That was crushed instantly as he stepped on the speakers and climbed on everything, and it went with his charisma. He commanded the people like they were his slaves and they obeyed. Moving onto the song "Tides" they then got everyone into singing the anti-idolatry lyrics of "He's not your saviour" which helped bring the passion of the crowd in vocal form. What started with half the crowd interested ended with the whole crowd cheering as the band concluded their intense set with "Flood The System".

9

Bury Tomorrow

The intro riff of "Redeemer" makes people cheer, the breakdown makes them bounce, but it's the vocal entrance of singer Jason Cameron that makes the crowd mosh. Bury Tomorrow has been quiet on the tour front for a few months but it doesn't show as there is not a sign of rust on their performance, it being well-executed and the vocals being brilliant. Lead guitarist Kristan Dawson achieves the intricate guitar solos whilst moving with ease. The people are enthralled and at the command of screaming front-man Daniel Winter Bates as he dictates moshpits and circle pits round the sound desk, particularly during "An Honourable Reign". Despite Daniel being the front-man, it's his brother, bassist Davyd Winter Bates, who is the personality of the band. Watching the banter between Daniel and Davyd unfold is funny and helps the non moving crowd members to loosen up more.

That being said the vocals aren't perfect, Jason has a great voice but I feel that he would benefit from some more professional assistance and from improving his breathing. However, a defining part of Bury Tomorrow's style that helped them grow was having a singer of Jason's quality and I can imagine the pressure he feels he's under to perform. Screamer Daniel also suffers from the same issue of perhaps pushing himself too much and having his breathing wrong, he struggles to hold death growled notes and relies on the gravely-speaking style akin to Corey Taylor too often, taking away from the songs potency and the studio to live translation. Coming close to the end Davyd states "you guys are making this home town show very fucking special" and it shows, as they come on stage to do "Lionheart" as an encore, their paean to their devout and growing fan base.

Setlist:

  • 1. Redeemer
  • 2. Waxed Wings
  • 3. An Honourable Reign
  • 4. Sceptres
  • 5. Confessions
  • 6. Message To A King
  • 7. You & I
  • 8. Evolution Of Self
  • 9. Abdication of Power
  • 10. Knight Life
  • 11. Royal Blood

Encore

  • 12. Lionheart

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