Shining live review - Underworld, London

Niklas Kvarforth battles more than his demons

Shining on stage at London's Underworld
(Image: © James Sharrock)

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Sweden’s Shining are bogged down in rumours that frontman Niklas Kvarforth is extremely unwell, and with tonight being recorded to commemorate the band’s 20th anniversary, the atmosphere is tinged with worry. Norway’s SLEGEST [7] take to the stage an hour late, and their party-fuelled black’n’roll finally begins the evening on a fun and fiery note.

Countrymen TAAKE [8] are up next, and Hoest, one of the most charismatic frontmen in black metal, is a whirlwind of corpsepaint and harsh howls. Nordbundet is thrilling, Du Ville Ville Vestland is powerful, and Fra Vadested Til Vaandesmed is masterful. SHINING [8] unfortunately don’t play for their allotted time, but their set is memorable to say the least. The evening is nearly brought to an end after a misguided ‘fan’ throws a bottle at the stage and Niklas, already feeling like death, decides it’s enough. He’s coaxed back out, and his apologies are profuse: he has flu, can barely speak, but is willing to try. The set is intense, with Niklas disappearing often to vomit and Hoest even coming out to sing Claws Of Perdition while the band carry the set forward on warm, rich sounds and an obvious camaraderie. Despite this, Shining still deliver a wonderful set shot through with emotion, desperation and humanity – everything they strive to evoke.