Gig review: DEADLY CIRCUS FIRE – The Borderline, London, 23 August 2013

Deadly Circus Fire take their moniker from the Hartford circus fire of Connecticut in 1944, one of the worst fire disasters in US history. Many burned to death while others, overcome by hysteria, were reported to have run round in circles until they too perished, as the flaming tent collapsed – trapping hundreds of spectators beneath it. Glancing at the moshpit tonight seems like miniature homage to that very night’s mayhem – DCF’s hardcore fans erupt as the band hit the stage, with the crowd glowing demonically in the red haze of glow sticks.

Deadly Circus Fire’s progressive metal tendencies are all but left behind in a maelstrom of metal mayhem; jagged guitars, thunderous pounding drums and cast iron vocals.  The band really do create ‘dark, ferocious musical landscapes’ and rumours of their awesome live shows are well deserved.  The gig is a relentless adrenalin rush and it’s hard to believe a band so tight and professional are relatively new and promoting their debut album (‘The King & the Bishop’).  Personal favourites ‘Through the Soil’ & ‘Her Epitaph’ are given awesome live renditions and fans are treated a new song, ‘Rise Again’.

It’s easy to see why Deadly Circus Fire have the likes of ‘Metal Hammer’ (currently cover mounted the band’s debut album), ‘Classic Rock’ & ‘Prog’ on their side.  ‘Metal Hammer’ has described the band as “An emotive display of showmanship and musical ability” – I can only agree. Tonight fans are sated and new fans are recruited.  Catch the band in small venues while you still can.

Review by Maggie Smith

Photos by William Adams Photography


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 30 August 2020.

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Featured Albums w/c 14 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 PERFECT PLAN Time For A Miracle (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 OVERLAND Scandalous (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 ANNIE DRESSNER Coffee At The Corner Bar (indie)

Power Plays w/c 14 September (Mon-Fri)

GALLOWS CIRCUS Medicine Man (indie)
ROY ZIV Currents (indie)
NOVATINES Honey (indie)
KILFEATHER Never Stop (indie)
VANILLA FUDGE Immigrant Song (Golden Robot Records)
BROKEN MACHINE Sweet Mary Jane (indie)



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