The Sound Circus, Bournemouth


Following largely successful years so far, both LostAlone and Fearless Vampire Killers ventured across the coastline of the UK to showcase their critically acclaimed live shows to the seaside towns of Plymouth, Margate, Brighton and Bournemouth for a co-headline “Seaside Rendezvous Tour”. Whilst LostAlone have shared the same tour bill as the likes of 30 Seconds To Mars, My Chemical Romance and Evanescence in recent years following the release of two outstanding albums, Fearless Vampire Killers have built exponential hype following the release of their latest mini album “Exposition”.

As I wondered into the dingy realms of The Sound Circus, I caught the last few songs of three piece “Shadow Punk” outfit Skeleton Kid who sadly don’t make me feel sorry to have missed the majority of their set. Although occasionally potent instrumentally, their set doesn’t span further than a disjointed impression of the superiors in their genre. Luckily, following support act Dead manage to liven the dark atmosphere with an eccentric performance of punk infused rock, which screams out parenting from the early days of My Chemical Romance (especially vocally). It’s nothing new, but their performance boasts confidence, energy, and professionalism. Their front man doesn’t waste a second of opportunity when interacting with a passionate fan base who feed off his enthusiasm for the bands flair driven attack. It’s an impressive set, especially when you consider the short length of time this band has been around for. Their “Beautiful Broken Bones” Tour has shown a keen sense of DIY ethics which could see this band reach the heights they crave sooner than your average band.

First of the tour headliners tonight is recent success story Fearless Vampire Killers, who have claimed praise from the likes of Rock Sound and Kerrang over the last couple years through their dedicated touring and well received releases. Following so much hype, I was worried that the surrounding excitement about this band may lead to an overwhelming anti-climax and sadly I was fairly correct. Considering all their praise, the band seem sluggish and deliver each song like they’re just doing their job rather than loving every moment on offer. It’s a shame considering their dedicated fan base show them so much love, despite a performance which boasted lazy vocal work and a weaker stage presence than the previous act of the night. All opinion aside, there must be something about this band which people like, otherwise they wouldn’t have such a keen following, but I found their entire performance to be nothing exciting in the slightest. I was informed by a friend that this particular set wasn’t up to their usual exciting standards, but there was little evidence to suggest anything more than what I saw. Let’s just say that it all came down to one word; “hype”.

Fearless Vampire Killers

Fearless Vampire Killers 

Headlining the night luckily, was a band who have recently stolen the hearts of the likes of Kerrang through their live performances. It’s always phenomenal when a band is able to turn around views about the sound system at the venue being a crucial fault of the performances of bands on the night, so when LostAlone opened with the emphatic “Do You Get What You Pray For?” it was immediately evident that maybe it wasn’t all that bad. Steven Battelles enormous riffs and soaring vocal work wrap warmly around the bands thundering bass lines and drum patterns to mold what can only be described as a hard hitting, Queen inspired twist of My Chemical Romance tailored, memorable stadium anthems. The likes of older workings such as “Blood Is Sharp”, to newer single “Creatures” and brand new unreleased material such as “Guilty” ensured this band left an everlasting mark with fresh cuts of every chapter of their being. Stevens face melting solos are delivered with an extra amount of zest as a fan (of the air blowing variety) sits suitably placed beside his monitor, allowing a hair blown delivery of slow motion, music video proportions.

LostAlone 1

It’s incredibly frustrating; as the headline performance of such stadium worthy velocity was only attended by a fairly poor number, highlighting just how poor the attendance for these sort of shows has become in Bournemouth, especially as bassist Mark Gibson told me that there were a couple hundred attendees at the previous tour date in Brighton. Nevertheless, a passionate sing along for the infectious “Love Will Eat You Alive” including the bands from the tour joining the stage hinted that this band is set for greatness. Their third album will hopefully be the catalyst for this band achieving the gateway to the bigger stages they so often thrive on when supporting the giants of the music world. Let’s hope that soon it’ll be their name topping the bill of the arenas instead.

Band Links

Words by George Fullerton
Photos by Eddie Smith

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