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Prong, live in London

Supports: Hark and Steak Number Eight

Following their first ever UK festival appearance at last year’s Bloodstock, Prong quickly released a covers album featuring song by Bad Brains, Killing Joke and many more. Tonight, fans got to experience these covers in the flesh as well as some Prong classics.

Belgium’s Steak Number Eight open things up this evening. After an epic intro (which may have been overkill as the venue is still filling up) the band powers into their own brand of sludge. Lead singer Brent Vanneste effortlessly switches from gut-wrenching screams to clean vocal lines without missing a beat – which is perfectly displayed in opening track Cryogenius. Several technical difficulties rear their head through the set but Steak Number Eight’s energy overcomes all hurdles.

Next up is South Wales’ Hark. Since the release of their debut album Crystalline the band have built up a strong following and there are obviously a few members of the audience who have seriously taken to the record, singing along to Scarlet Extremities. Their set showcases everything great about this band; heavy riffs that you will be humming for days.

As the theme from French Connection plays through the PA, Prong assemble and the crowd erupts as Tommy Victor casually strolls on with a smirk on his face, sizing up the crowd. Tonight’s set is a mix of covers from the new album and classics from their extensive back catalogue. It’s clear that Tommy really enjoys playing these covers that have influenced the Prong sound over the years, while rattling through Killing Joke’s Seeing Red he barely stops smiling. The covers are well received but there’s a huge shift in energy as they launch into Unconditional. Suddenly the whole of the Academy is moving then when Lost And Found hits, the pit is in full action. The genius of Prong is their ability to produce hardcore anthems then follow swiftly by straight-up thrash tracks in the blink of an eye. By the time Whose Fist Is It Anyway comes round, every single person in the crowd has a clenched fist in the air.

For many diehard fans, Prong are the all time kings of groove and after tonight it would be hard to argue with them. From the youngsters in the pit to the older gents nodding at the back, the infectiousness of Prong’s sound proves enough to get anyone to bang their head.

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After the show Metal Hammer competition winner Martin got to meet Tommy Victor and was presented with Tommy’s own guitar – LOOK! We’re very very jealous.