LIVE: Break Even w/ Landscapes, Endless Heights, Giants
Given the fact Australia have just suffered their most comprehensive sporting defeat in the hands of England’s cricket team, tonight’s visitors from down under would be forgiven if they had decided to remain hidden at the other side of the planet. It’s to our enjoyment that they have decided against this, and with two bands from our fine shores on site to balance the bill, tonight is destined to deliver by the bucket load.
If opening quintet Giants are a taste of what’s to come, that taste is a bloodied mouth as the band deliver blow after blow of punk tinged hardcore, perfectly crafted and passionately delivered to knock you clean off your feet. It should go without saying that the band are an absolute powerhouse live, and going by their great new songs if there’s any justice in the world, it shouldn’t be too long before they find a prominent place on tour bills like the one hosting them this evening.
Endless Heights offer a less abrasive serving of punk rock, but what they lack in speed they make up for in wonderfully structured songs akin to the likes of My Iron Lung. If there’s any nerves when playing their first ever UK show, it certainly isn’t showing and based on tonight’s evidence, this won’t be the last time the UK welcomes the quintet to it’s shores.
Many who have frequented the underground music scene in London will need no introduction to the ferocious Landscapes, but for those who are witnessing the quintet for the first time, let it be known that they are on top of their game. As frontman Shaun Milton gets in the faces of the front row, bassist Tom Paulton utilises the extra space on the stage, ensuring there’s not a spot in the whole room where you are completely safe. If there’s a single word that encapsulates Landscapes performance, it’s intensity; and they have it in abundance. At times you can hear a pin drop, but only for a mere moment before you are re-introduced to a wall of noise, demonstrated most aptly in a crushing rendition of ‘The Coming Of Age’. A 45 minute stage time doesn’t feel long enough as the band thrash through a flawless set (the highlight being the perfect ‘Epilogy’), and as the last notes ring out you are left wondering how the headline band can top this. Passion and emotion ooze from every pore of Landscapes, and for a band who are seemingly always the bridesmaid and never the bride, let’s hope the next step see’s this band pull away from the pack.
It’s no easy job coming on after a boisterous set from your main support, but if there’s one thing you can always bank on, it’s reminiscence. Break Even fortunately have that in abundance, and there’s nothing that can stand between an open armed crowd and their Australian heroes tonight. Each song is revered by the band and fans alike, giving an intimacy that you would only fully appreciate if you were one of the bands faithful. It’s easy to see why the quartet have earned such loyalty over the years. Each song is delivered with vigour, laced with emotion that drives each word and each chord that rings out through the room. It’s not often you witness shows of such warmth and intimacy, but tonight is one of them rare and awarding occasions.