The Joiners Arms, Southampton


William Francis is a regular visitor to these shores, his diverse and metamorphic persona’s continue to excite and thrill UK audiences. Tonight he is closing a chapter of his musical career that first brought him notoriety in the music world. Francis formed Aiden in 2002; bringing a whole new style with his passionate, dark-tinged Alternative tunes that were adored by fans from both sides of the Atlantic. Tonight’s visit to the Joiners in Southampton provides this tour with yet another “Sold Out” show full of adoring fans.

Before we get to say goodbye to Aiden, a full supporting hand picked cast of three bands have been laid on to warm things up before the main attraction. The first of these is Bournemouth’s “Glimpse of Misfortune”, a band beginning to make waves in their local area. Fronted by the extrovert that is Ellen Hill, who within seconds of climbing up on the Joiners stage is encouraging the audience to get involved. The four-piece confidently stride their way through a host of original tunes including the Metal-tinged “Crystals” where Ellen disappears into the crowd to mosh with the audience. There is also a fine tune called “Black Widow” where the vocals go from clean to a deep throated growl. The band end their set with an impressive radical reworking of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”, with lots of willing audience participation.

Glimpse Of Misfortune
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Next up is the tour support “Never Found” who continue the momentum with a strong opening of twin powerful guitars, mixing elements of thrash with punk. They play tracks from debut EP “Sorrow and Cyanide” which includes a track called “Just Like Hollywood” that has everything. Frontman Daniel Barnes grins at the audienceís positive reaction, then puts his guitar down for a brand new track called “My Grave” where he injects some serious energy into the performance. These four guys create a completely new twist using a mixture of genres, and by the noise made from the audience this was really welcome.

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When William Francis is in the UK you can always rely on Ashestoangels not to be too far behind. These guys have built up a kinship with him and his entourage with support slots taken at many of his shows. It has been a long journey for these guys but finally after many years of seriously hard work they are starting to make some headlines in the music industry. They have a loyal fanbase that grows with each show that they play while their stageshow is always unpredictable and entertaining. Tonight is no different, they really relish a show in front of a sold out audience and are “on it” as soon as they hit the stage. Kicking off with “Heavy Words and Hollow Bones”, the band are like a coiled spring who leap into action as soon as the first note is played. Ever present frontman Adam Crilly is a master at keeping audience’s content; if he is not in the crowd singing with them, he is crowd surfing across the top of them! The band have a brand new song in the form of “Find Hell”; which is a tune like they have never released before, something that really stands out and works so well live. The band end their sweat-soaked set with a punked-up tribute to David Bowie in the form of “Ziggy Stardust” which is a perfect end to an extraordinary performance.

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Tonight there is a great sense of anticipation in this packed venue, there are fans old and new crowded in to the venue awaiting Aiden’s last stand. The band arrive in a darkened venue to a celebratory welcome; this is after all not a funeral, it’s a celebration of one of the era’s most loved alternative bands. William Francis stand’s in front of his adoring fans and welcomes them before launching into “Crawling Up from Hell”, The floor erupts as a mass of bodies start to move to this track from the last self-titled Aiden album. The band includes Ian MacWilliams (Guitar), Kenneth Fletcher (Bass) and Ben Tourkantonis (Drums). Though not original members they seen to really know the way around these songs delivering perfect re-creations of the originals. This sets the pace for the rest of the evening, the band continue with masses of energy entertaining every one of the few hundred smiling faces in here tonight. After a very frantic “Scavengers of The Damned”, they announce that the “Nightmare Anatomy” album will be played in full. This album was released in 2005 and laid down the foundations of the band’s career, bringing an original melodic punk sound combined with modern metal elements. An album that fans took to their hearts, buying it to give the record a respectful number 16 on the Billboard Independent Album Chart.

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This live performance is really special with the band giving 100% with every number they play including songs like edgy “Die Romanticî, “Unbreakable” and the amazing “See You in Hell”. The atmosphere in the this old venue which has seen many amazing performances over the years could not feel any more uplifting than it does right at this moment. The band decide not to leave the stage for the customary encores, they just carry on playing building the momentum even further with two final performances, which include high spirited appearances from Adam Crilly of Ashestoangels and Daniel Barnes of Never Found on vocals. William and the band bid their farewells, which brings to an end a career that includes 7 studio albums and a countless number of astounding live performances. They leave the stage to an emotional farewell from the loyal crowd, who by their reactions really appreciate this outstanding performance that they have just witnessed; one that will last long in the memory of this historic Hampshire music venue.


Crawling Up From Hell
We Sleep Forever
Let the Right One In
New Grave
Scavengers of the Damned

Knife Blood Nightmare
The Last Sunrise
Die Romantic
Genetic Design for Dying
Itís Cold Tonight
Enjoy the View
Goodbye We’re Falling Fast
This City is Far From
See You in Hell

I Set My Friends on Fire
World by Storm

Heavy Words and Hollow Bones
Six Six Six
Find Hell
Bury Us in Black
The Wake
Reason to Stay
Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)


More Videos from this gig can be found on our Youtube channel here.


Words & Videos by Dave Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Jon Musselwhite

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