Black Peaks live review – London, Borderline

Progressive newbies smash through Soho, with support from Palm Reader and Tosca

Black Peaks, live at London Borderline

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

With the hype machine kicking in on the week of the headliners’ album release, openers TOSCA [7] confuse a sold-out room with their instrumental, tech wizardry. Good band, maybe not the right crowd.

It’s certainly not the right crowd for PALM READER [8], who get a high score for remaining one of the best live acts in the country. The shrugs from the onlookers that greet songs as wonderful as Stacks, performed with such awe-inspiring, sweat-soaked dedication to their art, is a depressing sight.

The mood changes dramatically by the time BLACK PEAKS [9] arrive; having whipped up industry excitement in the last 12 months, they’re about to prove to everyone why with the release of Statues, arguably the best British debut of 2016. That they spend the evening pulling off every trick from their mindbending album is some feat. From the RATM-style groove opening jam to Saviours’ closing space rock, it’s thrilling. Possessing one of the tightest rhythm sections going, with guitarist Joe Gosney, cut from the same mad scientist cloth as Devin Townsend, whirling around the stage, never missing a note and, in vocalist Will Gardner, a frontman with both a voice that sounds like no other and a demeanour to appeal to every oddball and outsider on Earth, you can believe the hype. Black Peaks might end up being as huge as they are brilliant.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.