Hacktivist – The Venue – 28/3/14


Just a week before this sell out show in Warrington, Rap Metal band Hacktivist were announced as main stage debutants at Reading & Leeds Festival this summer, and it was certainly great timing for Asylum Club Night, who returned with a bang. Even with the venue doors opening late after traffic delayed soundchecks, not even the inevitable stutter of rain could not dampen the atmosphere generated as people filed in eagerly.

Returning to The Venue was The God Complex, the first of two Warrington bands playing tonight. The band arguably had the hardest task of all the bands, not just as openers, but the fact their brand of Grunge/ Alternative Rock made them stand out on a predominantly Metal lineup. But with their most settled line up, they had nothing to fear as a large loyal fanbase at the front of the stage bounced along to the fan favourites including ‘Like A Glove’ and ‘BNZ’. They wholly justified their inclusion on the lineup and based on this, their best performance yet, are ones to watch when their 2nd EP drops.

Another band working on new material, is Deathcore band, Sometime After Dark, who played tracks from their Creations Fall EP (available here for free). The band has come along way since forming 4 years ago and frontman, Jake Wilding had full command of the stage in front of an already filled venue. Based on this set, you can understand how the band have managed to make a name for themselves in the north west. With those extra strings on the guitars comes added expectations, and perhaps further refining. But for now, it was good to see the band back in warrington after a long absence.

Carcer City made their Asylum debut next who unashamedly play ‘Scouse metal’. Adding their own controllable lighting to the stage, their sound brings to mind early The Devil Wears Prada, and frontman Patrick was keen to engage with the audience, coming off the stage and into the crowd, as well as having the first crowd surfers of the night! It was a hugely energetic set as you may expect from a band of this stature. Ending on their new track ‘Perceptions’, released a matter of days before the show, it signals the start of an exciting time for the band. We look forward to seeing the band in Warrington again.

The final band of the night, Hacktivist, whilst relatively new, have had experience playing across the UK and Europe, with tonight being one of their last shows before they tour with Nu-Metal giants Korn, the pressure was on them not to disappoint. Displaying fine craft over their songs and instruments, it’s safe to say they didn’t as from the opening bars of ‘Blades’ the room was in full ascendency with moshpits opening up in the newly opened up space. Once again there was crowd surfers galore, reaching the front of the stage before pulling back into the crowd. It is fair to say the intimate setting and the closeness of the crowd to band helped create an energy that surpassed anything before it previously in a venue that silently celebrated 12 months of live music.

The bands set consisted of their 5 track debut EP as well as two brand new tracks (False Idols & Schizophrenia), which were getting some of their first airings in a live environment. As a relatively new band and with no other songs to play, when it came to their obligatory encore, the band replayed the track that catapulted them to popularity, the Jay-Z & Kanye West cover, ‘In Paris’. What really impressed me was their ability of both frontmen (Ben Marvin and J Hurley) to move the crowd and with such a unique style to their music, mixing Grime vocals with heavy 8 string riffs, you are bound to see Hacktivist rise through the ranks. Believe the hype.

(View more photos here)

Lee Harman

Asylum Club Night takes place at The Venue (Barbauld Street) on the last friday of every month with live music before most nights.

Image © Ian Taylor Photography

(The thoughts of any reviewer is the sole opinion of themselves and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of [WAM])

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