I have had a Black Spiders baseball shirt for about a year and a half now and it is the only band shirt I have ever owned which has had people both at gigs and in the street stopping me to say how good the band are.
I mention this only to illustrate the buzz the band have created through their own hard work and fantastic support slots over the last couple of years. With the release of their new album, ‘This Savage Land’, I was keen to see if the band could capitalise on the current interest and make the move to the next level.
The signs were good as The Cathouse was rammed when we arrived fairly early in the night. Unfortunately our arrival also coincided with the first band of the night, Baby Godzilla, strutting their stuff. This is the second time I have encountered Baby Godzilla and my opinion hasn’t changed, their wild antics on and off stage are only there to distract from a great lack of talent.
They do put on a very energetic show with the two guitarists spending more time in the crowd or on top of the bar than they do on stage. The music though is sadly lacking, noise for noise sake with very few coherent musical passages, all show with no substance does not make for a great career. I can’t see them rising from bottom of the bill any time soon.
Next up and equally as loud were Hawk Eyes from Leeds. The band are out promoting their new EP ‘That’s What This Is’ and their ‘Live In Amsterdam’ album which you can download for free from the band’s Facebook page. The big difference between the noise Baby Godzilla created and Hawk Eyes output is tune and melody.
The four guys in Hawk Eyes have the ability to carry off their complex rhythms and the ability to write said pieces in the first place. The live album was recorded when the guys were touring in Europe with System Of A Down and whilst the band are not quite as eclectic as Serj and co, their twisted melodies and off-kilter passages do nod in SOAD’s direction. The band used their allotted slot well and by the end of the set the crowd was clearly enjoying what was on offer. A good performance from a solid band.
The now capacity crowd though were there for one reason only, to see the Black Spiders put in yet another stunning live performance. If you haven’t encountered the Black Spiders live yet I urge you to do so as soon as possible, you will not be disappointed. After a dramatic intro tape the band kicked off with ‘Knock You Out’, the opening track from the new album, and the crowd went wild. A Spiders’ gig is a participation sport where you are encouraged to sing, clap and bounce along to each song whilst the band give their all on stage, never stopping for a minute.
With the familiar chant of ‘f**k you Black Spiders’ the band continued with ‘Stay Down’, the volume was so high that the walls of The Cathouse were shaking, but no one seemed to care ( I had my earplugs firmly in place thankfully!) Apart from the relentless energy the band put into the show the biggest factor in the band’s on-going success are their songs. Tracks like the comical ‘Kiss Tried To Kill Me’ are perfect rock tracks full of memorable melodies and huge choruses that get lodged in your brain and take weeks to shift.
Other set highlights were the recent single ‘Balls’, the classic ‘Just Like A Women’ and ‘Teenage Knife Gang’ which was played at breakneck speed with drummer, Tiger Si, doing a convincing impression of Animal from The Muppets. The band returned for three encores including the new working man’s anthem ‘Stick It To The Man’ and rounded things off with ‘What Good’s A Rock Without A Roll’.
This was yet another amazing performance from a band who can rightly claim to be one of the best live acts in the UK. If the new album coupled with the current tour doesn’t see the band move into the upper leagues then there really is no justice in the world. F**k you Black Spiders!
Review and photos by Dave Wilson
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