Fearless Vampire Killers w/ Ashestoangels, Evarane, Boy Cries Wolf & Such Strange Arts - Rayleigh Mill 6/7/12
So come 6th July the Rayleigh Mill was graced by the recently Download Festival rockers and upcoming Suffolk band Fearless Vampire Killers, of whom play Gothic-tinged Pop Rock but dress for the occasion in the sort of steampunk, victorian elegancy. In tow were Gothic Rockers Ashestoangels who hail from the deepest caves of Bristol and have been a frequent name mentionned in the underground rock scene. Folllowing them were three of Essex's finest rock bands, well known pop punkers Evarane, folk rockers (and BOTB 2011 winners) Boy Cries Wolf and newbies Such Strange Arts.
Global Metal Apocalypse caught up with the new boys Such Strange Arts and spoke to them about the band history and what ventures the lads are embarking on.
< Scott had to use light to find the bass strings
Fired up on Pop Punk Rock is Essex lads Such Strange Arts, supported by Classic Rock and framed by the sound of experimental music. However, this Rayleigh quintet bring themsevles together to deliver a stellar performance, both musically and theatrically. By the guitarist doing star jumps effectively mid-air and the drummer twirling the drumsticks around in sync with the audio performance. Such Strange Arts have tonight set the stage alight in preparation for the almighty storms that are brewing in the venue and are forecasted to shower rock music all over the crowd, but for Such Straneg Arts, their work id done, they have done well and are sure to become better with each gig and are a sure band to watch out for.
< Evarane attacked the crowd in numbers
Southend's Evarane did not fail to impress tonight, the Pop Punkers immersed the crowd in their heavenly vocals and melodic music to captivate everyone in the room. With catchy songs like 'The Fear' in their repetoire, it would seem non-apparent to disregard them as an adventurous band, with Beka's vocals echoing a powerful and party-feel vocal sound around the venue, Nile's erotic riffing and the rest of the band giving a full-on rock epic as a backdrop, this is perhaps Evarane at their best, it will be interesting to see how this sextet develop. With Kris on drums (he plays for Crash Mansion too) and the other musicians providing a wall of sound, this is Evarane how you'd expect them to be.
 RHYS STEVENSON
< Toby Shaer tried staring out someone with a bigger violin
The folk rockers Boy Cries Wolf played their socks off with their edgy yet sophistcated mix of rock music, violins and country style atmosphere, none the less the Essex septet (sextet on the night) delivered a brilliant display of what is lacking in the regional music scene, creativity and genious. But one thing that let them down tonight was the fact the lyrics were read off a phone which is really unprofessional but given due it probably was not the vocalist singing tonight and so the excuse is made. Still surely it is down to the band to know how the songs go? It would have been more awkward if the crowd singing over-powered the band. But rest assured it was a decent enough performance tonight.
< Adam thought the bartender spoke to him when shouting out that it's last orders.
Once in a while you find a band that totally dominates their genre category, well Ashestoangels are on that path to glory for Gothic Rock, their performance tonight was one of best that has ever been at the Rayleigh Mill. But whatever happens to the Bristol rockers, they have played well tonight. From Adam's crazy antics on and off stage to the vampire-like look of the band. Ashestoangels certainly blew the night up all over the place with a DIY attitude to their set and naturally the brilliance in the interaction with the crowd, of which was not one bit missed and ended up with Adam Crilly (vocals) bending over on the floor in the middle of the crowd, now that is truly rock 'n' roll.
< Laurence couldnt help but give Kier some loving
It came down to one band and that was Fearless Vampire Killers, the headliners of this evening 'rockathon'. The Suffolk quintet who have recently demolished Download Festival have gone on tour with Ashestoangels and tonight brought their a-game with them. Dressed the part in steampunk/victorian style gothic clothing and playing pop punk / death rock, the five-piece prove why they are an emerging act on the circuit and are sure to emerge victorious at many other future gigs regardless of the venue or line-up, this is a band who have captivated many people and are sure to do this time and time again.
 RHYS STEVENSON
< Hyde knew that cursing in Japanese was the perfect retialiation for the guy upstairs who call him a girl.
As the audience waved around their neon-glow sticks and flaunted around in their Visual Kei orientated dress styles, this is without a doubt the perfect method of bringing two cultures together. Japanese culture coliding with British culture.
The pre-entertainment to the songs being played was in the form of a magnificent video presentation which highlighted tour locations and a video introduction of the band; the latter being a frequently used backdrop in that each song used a different video animation to accompany it, along with extravagent costumes whiched aided the imagery of Visual Kei.
Testsuya trying out his new Japanese rock assault pose >
L'Arc En Ciel however managed to get the crowd partying through a mixture of on stage dancing and using motion chemistry to relate with the audience, as such the band were cued and orchestrated to time and were in sync with each other all the way through. After all this was the band's 20 year anniversary tour and their first time playing in London.
Irrespective of the language differences - they are singing most in Japanese, they also sing in English and even though there is a language barrier, one you can learn a new language but more importantly for non-Japanese speakers, the music does the talkiing.
The use of pyrotechnics in the elegant form of vertical flamethrowers added another level of dramaticism, yet not exactly another Rammstein theatrical, instead a beautiful production of epic proportions. Mixing a delicate mixture of soft rock and alternative rock with full-on metal songs, falling right behind each other and providing a delinquent sound to the room. Verging onto Industrial Rock and finalising with what is easily dubbed as a Psychedelic show.
Albeit the music, the guitarist has a wicked sense of humour, stating that "I have been London many times, one i wanted to go to London Dungeon, but I had to play golf instead, so now I went Tokyo Dungeon" and that he "bought the bassist a UK pillow, UK-print leggings and a london tube map of his arse, so he dont get lost in London".
It got even worse with him saying "do you want to lick my banana, do you want to lick my lollipop?", he then threw banana into the crowd before launching a boomerang-style throw at the crowd up in the gods.
Also intriguingly the bassist shook his guitar at the speakers to rebound the sound being emitted. He even wore a jacket in the design of the UK flag. Even more so there was an epic drum solo near the end, with lightning as the video backdrop and the penultimate song being a Japanese ballad, enabled the audience to sing along by singing the first part in Japanese (displayed on the LED screen).
All in all this was a concert that the lads will never forget, a truly remarkable showcase of Japanese culture and music, the epitome of Visual kei music.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
On a night with a sensational crowd present amassing to well over 100+, three bands took to the stage to deliver an almighty blast of rock music, Clout, Black Belles and The Horrors all graced the stage.
Clout, a local quintet playing a straight chemical mix of orchestrated blues rock with jazz thrown in. At times the band seemed to know what they were doing, but this changed from second to second; amazingly they are one of those bands hard to genre-tag, experimental rock is perhaps the closest you can get. They managed to hold a captivating performance of which seems to be marred by the visual look of interaction - just mere playing, no action, just playing. Sadly the audio was not perfect as the jazz player seemed non existant at times, he was playing but no sound was emitting, perhaps the metal lost it's musical conductor. However it was an interesting sight to see the musicians change instruments - jazz to keyboards, drummer to guitars etc. The sound however is nothing new, but with a pinch of divergence here and there, the band without a doubt has conjured up a strangely bizarre sound. However for a relatively short set, the quintet have a great sound, organisation, composure and stage presence, but seem to lack that total panache, but are not far from reaching it .
< Olivia Jean clawing her nails into the gloomy Southend atmosphere.
The all women quartet from Nashville, Tennessee utilised a Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Goth Rock sound, by bringing out the best in rock with a sensational blend of 'bar rock' and true southern state class and rickety rock-n-roll. So much for tornado alley not predicting this storm to be sent across the Atlantic Ocean. In fact the continual shedding of distortion became powerful enough to blow holes in the ceiling. Ironically, when four female musicians came out to shake the foundations of Southend Chinnerys, the predicted 'male-army-en-mass' soon congregated, out-crowding any football league derby attendance, Southend United must be envious. Let alone the dress code being imperfectly smart and to-the-point 'on official business'; even the music aided as an official clarification that the quartet are not to be messed with, since when did Hayley Williams quadruplicate into goths? [8.5]
< No one told The Horrors that heaven was behind them.
< Faris Badwan could not believe his eyes seeing someone down 4 shots of Jack Daniels at once.
Full of gusto and rhythmic composition, the headlining Southend-based experimental, space, goth, every-subgenre of rock band The Horrors delivered a total ecliptic version of pure class with a light-coveted display of fuel-injected red and white light - correlating the potential of embedding English rock in the pits of experimental audibility and emphatically shedding out the dark and D.I.Y. sound of 'horroresque' stature. Wihout a question one of the finest modern rock bands England has ever produced in the past five years. A sensational live performance on the night, making the albums an appetiser in their menu of rock sounds, one would pin their performance to the dessert section, a delicious slice of rock cake. Honing in on their native town, The Horrors made no errors as they show off an array of atoned pedigree and the ability in not failing to disappoint, even Jimi Hendrix would salute this lot. Revitalising the crowd into complete psychedelia, The Horrors are without any compromise and take no substitutes without delivering what is perceived to be the most captivating gig of-yet-to-be 2012 .
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