I can’t lie – I had been looking forward to this gig for months. Even though I saw two of the three bands play at Takedown Festival less than two weeks ago, I was so ready for this one. Unfortunately nobody wanted to come with me (it’s amazing how hard it is to persuade people, even with a free ticket!), but it’s all about the music – at least I still got to go! My train was on time, the tube was running perfectly and the queue for the Electric Ballroom wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had thought it would be. There were three bands on the menu; a starter of The Dirty Youth, main course of Glamour Of The Kill and headliners Heaven’s Basement were up for dessert; my favourite … I like to save the best for last!
First up were The Dirty Youth – a five piece, female fronted band hailing from Wales. Front-woman Danni looked amazing with her shocking pink hair, lipstick to match and a skin tight black and see-through outfit. Fortunately, she has the voice to match her looks and she belted out song after song with that incredible voice of hers. The guys backing her are all competent and it was a stonking opening, although the crowd took a little warming up. ‘Requiem For a Drunk’ went over well with the crowd, Danni imploring everyone to clap along and a fantastic set finished with ‘Fight’, which saw her hold an awesome note at the end. Surely The Dirty Youth are set to move on to bigger things …
After a slight lull, handy for a beer break, Glamour of The Kill erupted onto the stage with massive tune ‘Break’. A new band in my collection, I absolutely love these guys. They have attitude, they’re pretty and they sound great – what more could anyone want? I wouldn’t say the crowd went mental, but there was a fair amount of jumping going on around the front with a pit going, everybody getting their fists in the air. ‘Second Chance’ went over well, as did ‘The Only One’, both tracks from the newest album ‘Savages’. I particularly enjoyed ‘If Only She Knew’; one of my favourite tracks off of first album ‘The Summoning’. ‘A Freak Like Me’ went down a storm and they finished an impressive set with ‘Feeling Alive’. Every time I go on to twitter or Facebook these days people seem to be talking about GOTK so I’m guessing that they’re also going to get very big, very quickly. Bring it on – I can’t wait to see them again.
(Photo courtesy of Amanda Cooke)
After another lull, during which I got chatting to some lovely long-time Heaven’s Basement fans (stick around long enough with this band and you’ll start to feel like you’re part of one big family, it’s another reason why I like them so much), the lights went down, the screaming got louder and you could almost taste the anticipation in the air. With a shirtless Chris settling behind the drums, Aaron and Rob bouncing around like puppies on speed and Sid radiating bad-boy attitude with that trademark sneer of his, they launched straight into ‘Welcome Home’, first track off of the ‘Filthy Empire’ album (which has been out for well over a year; if you haven’t got it yet, why the hell not?).
(Photo courtesy of Amanda Cooke)
Sliding effortlessly into fans’ favourite ‘Can’t Let Go’, the room was already moving as one, sweaty and excited, but when the opening notes of ‘Fire, Fire’ rang out, the crowd went nuts, the whole front section jumping up and down, everyone singing along; likewise with ‘Heartbreaking Son of a Bitch’. I was surprised to hear ‘Straight To Hell’ (b-side off of single ‘Nothing Left To Lose’, which followed it), as I can’t recall seeing them play that track live before, although it’s a great song, with some awesome guitar work. ‘I Am Electric’ came next and unsurprisingly, the room erupted once again, general chaos ensuing, the crowd loving every minute. It was nice to see Sid introducing and singing on old track ‘Paranoia’, a firm crowd favourite, before they slowed the pace right down with ‘The Price We Pay’. One of my favourite tracks ‘Jump Back’ followed and Aaron was off out in to the crowd for his trademark surfing, everyone surging forward to support him as he came nearly halfway out into the room. I turned to say something to my friend, looked back and couldn’t believe it when I saw he was doing a handstand. On top of the crowd. Absolutely awesome to see.
He made it safely back and penultimate song ‘Reign on My Parade’ thrilled the crowd, with Aaron inciting a sing off before the band left the stage briefly, the whole room stamping their feet and chanting for more. Even if you haven’t seen them before, you always know there’s going to be one more song coming and it’s always the same. The anthemic ‘Executioner’s Day’ is always an epic close to an amazing, sweaty, euphoric show.
I left the venue feeling like I was floating on a cloud, a stupid grin on my face virtually the whole way home. Heaven’s Basement have a tendency to induce that sort of feeling; I’ve only been following them for two years and this was the eighth time I’ve seen them, but for sure, it certainly won’t be the last. If you haven’t caught them yet, you’re out of luck for the UK as by the time this gets posted, they’ll have left for Europe, but they are the UK’s hardest touring band; they’ll be back soon for certain. With the trajectory they’re taking, if you leave it too long you’ll miss the smaller, more intimate gigs because Heaven’s Basement are heading straight for the top.
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(Big thanks to Amanda Cooke for letting me use some of her fantastic photos!)