Bring Me The Horizon, Live In London

Sheffield metalcore crew ascend to the big boys’ league in style

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.

The seeds for tonight’s triumphant show – Bring Me The Horizon’s biggest ever UK headline appearance – were sown in this very room three years ago. On December 3, 2011 the Sheffield band were booked to play Wembley Arena as support to Machine Head, a gig which was always going to be ‘challenging’, to put it mildly. Faced with a hostile, abusive audience on the night, far from being cowed, Oli Sykes’ band simply did what they’ve done for the best part of a decade: stood tall, raised middle fingers in the direction of the haters and laughed gleefully in their faces. “This song’s called I’m On Tour With Your Favourite Band So Suck My Fucking Dick,” was one memorable Sykes line on the night. Talk about balls…

Three years on, ironically on the same weekend Machine Head will play two nights at the 3,000 capacity Camden Roundhouse, Bring Me have brought 12,000 rather more appreciative fans to this unlovely part of NorthWest London for an end-of-album-cycle bow which always promised to be a more celebratory affair. But even this most confident of bands surely can’t have imagined just what a crushing success the evening would be.

With Sleepwave, Issues and Young Guns providing sterling support on the night, Bring Me walk onstage at 9:30pm to screams loud enough to cause structural damage to the iconic arch on the neighbouring national stadium. The first circle pits erupt in the crowd even before the opening chords of Shadow Moses are struck, and for the next 75 minutes this is a party the likes of which Wembley has surely never seen.

It’s worth remembering that if you take Maiden, Sabbath and Motorhead out of the equation, Britain hasn’t produced a metal band capable of filling this hall for over 25 years. Tonight Bring Me absolutely kill it, with a production and performance that’s truly inspired. Sykes, naturally, is the focus of attention, and the ease with which he works his audience is something to behold, whether orchestrating spectacular wall of death pile-ups or simply inciting mayhem with hilariously nonsensical pronouncements such as ‘Fuck someone in the eye!’. At one point, he encourages the entire audience to crowd-surf over the barriers “so I can see your beautiful faces” – a request which drains blood from the faces of already alarmed-looking security staff.

There are no lulls in proceedings here. Go To Hell For Heaven’s Sake, The House of Wolves and Diamonds Aren’t Forever are a hell of way to follow Shadow Moses, while the appearance of former guitarist Curtis Ward for a run through Pray For Plagues incites pandemonium, even with the surprise value rather exploded by Ward’s emergence at the band’s warm-up show at Camden Underworld two days previously. New single Drown, bound for the Top 10 this weekend, sounds massive, custom-built for rooms this size, and when a soaring Can You Feel My Heart brings down the curtain the resulting singalong almost overpowers the band.

Quite a night then, and a genuinely special way to mark the group’s first decade together. So what now? Such has been Bring Me’s growth over the past five years that really their er, horizons are boundless, but on this evidence, you’ll get short odds on the possibility of Sykes’ band stepping up to headline Download or Sonisphere by 2016. BMTH haters, consider yourselves warned…

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.