“Sorry for your loss,” says the usher, greeting Creeper’s Secret Society beneath a floral effigy of the band’s Callous Heart logo as he dispenses orders of service. Tonight’s free gig is packed with competition winners, all having pre- ordered the Southampton punks’ debut LP, Eternity, In Your Arms.
Creeper have long graduated from a baby AFI into a gothic punk anomaly, and everyone waves goodbye to Novena, Into The Black and The Secret Society, as the band hold a funeral for songs they won’t play in the foreseeable future. The concept takes on added resonance when vocalist Will Gould dedicates Misery to a friend who took their life. The band are superglued – you can’t imagine them without Hannah Greenwood on the keys and ululating through Suzanne now – but Will and guitarist Ian Miles are the key. Will remains a commanding frontman even when his mic plays up during Hiding With Boys’ live premiere, while Ian embodies the duo’s hardcore roots, bashing his six- string like a baby having a nappy-shitting tantrum. This juxtaposition of the grandiose and guttural is a summation of Creeper, from “Nazi punks fuck off!” chants at the mention of Donald Trump to the entire venue stopping as a girl collapses during Suzanne. Tonight is a unifying display of the unique, leaving each punter with a signed setlist and memories forever.