Last night Beartooth kicked off their first-ever UK headline tour in London at the dingy underground venue of the Borderline. With a lot of hype around them, could Caleb Shomo's troupe live up to it? Here's what we learned...
CLIMATE CHANGE IS A SLOW PROCESS
Realistically tonight is about one band and one band only – the headliner. But when the shouty Lincoln upstarts Climates rush onto the stage to run through 30 minutes of post-y leaning metal the already half-full venue is more than happy to throw themselves around. While Climates might not have the musical arsenal to back up the energy they possess, there’s the odd glimmer of potential and the floor slowly begins to open. A sea of snapbacks and distressed font band tees force themselves closer and closer to the stage as the stagediving convention rolls into the Borderline for its aerial display that continues throughout the evening.
It’s worth pointing out here that some of last night’s stagedivers really need to up their game. Too many bodies are seen crashing jaw first into the ground as they mistime the jump – or in one case, clearing the crowd completely. Of course the bar staff are only too happy to film it on their phones…
HARTS ARE STARTING TO WARM
Following on from Climates are the Steel City metallic hardcore crew Dead Harts. Having supported Beartooth and their first-ever UK show at the Barfly in Camden back in April, it’s great to see the brotherhood is still strong. If you’ve never come across the Sheffield bruisers before, the rabble of longhairs resemble a Norma Jean/While She Sleeps hybrid that have ingested far too much sugar and E numbers. While these guys might have some way to go before they’re selling out this place, there’s a devoted number down front screaming along to the Yorkshire metallers. We even overheard a dude outside after the show saying he thought they were better than the headliners!
A LOT CAN CHANGE IN FIVE MONTHS
The last time Beartooth were on our shores was back in April when they played their first ever London show at the Barfly in Camden followed by a run of dates supporting Of Mice & Men. Back then they only had an EP officially released and a handful of dedicated fans who follow online buzz like some sort of horny bee. Now they’re one of the hottest bands in the ‘alternative’ world with one most talked about debut records of the year. It’s no surprise then that they’ve landed a UK headline tour off the back of it and are starting it in London’s sweatbox of a Borderline venue. And what a reception they receive…
BEARTOOTH BRING THE CHAOS
What would you expect from a post-hardcore gig other than absolute mayhem? From start to finish bodies are flying through the air and diving off the stage or the nearby bannister – to the delight of all photographers in attendance. That being said, when Caleb shouts for a circle pit there’s a certain look of bemusement on the faces of those down front who bob around on the spot a bit until the chorus kicks in and it’s back to screaming their lungs into tatters.
IT’S A BONA FIDE BANGATHON
If you’ve listened to Beartooth’s debut LP Disgusting you’ll know that Caleb Shomo can write a chorus or two. Opening on The Lines, no-one is leaving the Borderline with their voices in tact. Flitting momentarily back to the Sick EP for Set Me On Fire and Pick Your Poison, this is a solid set of the big-hitters from the debut full-length. Hammering through Ignorance Is Bliss, I Have A Problem and Relapsing it’s the gargantuan choruses of Beaten In Lips and Body Bag that rattle the roof tiles and see the dregs of pints chucked into the pit before one last bout of carnage ensues. Job done.
Read our eye-opening interview with Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo in the new issue of Metal Hammer OUT NOW.