On a chilly November evening hundreds of fans queued up outside the Edinburgh Corn Exchange patiently waiting for the doors to open so they could be unleashed into the madness that awaited them inside. After the release of their fifth studio album That’s The Spirit, the band were just about to wrap up 2 solid months of touring by playing a sold out UK tour on their home soil. Bring Me the Horizon were finally back in Scotland and it was their first time back in the country since their 2013 Crooked Young tour so fans were anxious and ready. With support from the almighty Pvris and Neck Deep, the crowd were in for a wild night.
Once inside I walked towards the front of the crowd and somehow got a barrier spot, who can complain at getting a secure spot to see the stage? Not me. The wait from the doors opening until Pvris took to the stage was like watching paint dry; boring and tiring but when the lights went down the crowd perked up and readied themselves for the Boston three piece to prove why they’re one of the most up and coming bands on the alternative music scene right now.
The lights cast a blue shimmer over the stage, leaving the silhouette of singer and rhythm guitarist Lynn Gunn, for everyone to see. She began playing a simple riff which was added to by Alex Babinski on lead guitar and Brian MacDonald on bass. Then (unofficial member) Justin Nace kicked in on the drums and the band began playing an intro that sounded very similar to a Paramore outro but it didn’t disappoint.
The intro slid perfectly into their opening number “White Noise.” A fan favourite due to the nature of the music video which resembles a Poltergeist feel. Musically I don’t think it was the strongest song to open with but nevertheless, the band gave the crowd what the wanted. However “Mirrors” perfectly showcased Lynn Gunn’s vocal ability, that girl can wail. The range that her voice has is truly satisfying, the rough and raspiness it holds makes it much more interesting than your average singer these days.
“St. Patrick” is the most famous song by Pvris, it is also the song to make every single body in the crowd move. The synthpop mix with guitars and badass drum beats live make the song feel like an anthem for the ages. I challenge anyone to witness it live and not want to lose their shit a little bit. Props to the trio for their hard work. I truly believe if you give this band 2 more years and they could be selling out arenas around the world, they are one to watch!
Pvris left the stage and next up were Neck Deep, a pop punk band hailing from sunny Wrexham in Wales. This band have been putting the work in big time in the last few months and it’s paying off. Their latest album Life’s Not Out to Get You snagged the number one spot on the iTunes album charts the week it was released, also the album was produced by Jeremy McKinnion of A Day to Remember; if that isn’t cool then I don’t know what is. Anyway, the band had just stepped off a plane from New York City, where they had just played in Madison Square Gardens. The band claimed the Edinburgh show was much better, simply because people actually knew their songs; isn’t that cute? Ben Barlow can write some good hooks and his voice is somewhat a reminder of a young Mark Hoppus but that doesn’t matter, all pop punk sounds the same anyway.
They opened with “Citizens of Earth” which is the first song on their latest album. The song is a bit different from their previous material, the opening guitar riff gives the impression that the song is going to be much heavier than it actually is, Matt West and former member Lloyd Roberts created riffs and melodies in this song to create the illusion that Neck Deep were turning to the heavier side of music, but they’re not.
“Kali Ma” featuring Jeremy McKinnion for like 3 seconds was another new jam to be played and no Jeremy didn’t come out to the show to sing the four words he has in the song. This song is strangely about Indiana Jones, kinda; according to Ben Barlow anyway. Dani Washington on drums, keeps the pop punk beats alive and doesn’t disappoint the crowd at all. In fact, the crowd were going wild for Neck Deep, I guess it must have been nice to come back home and have such a warm welcome after weeks of barely anyone knowing who they even were. The second last song was “A Part of Me” which is typically an acoustic ballad, often accompanied by Laura Whiteside when they tour in the UK, but tonight Ben was on his own. His vocals were very strong during this song, you could almost feel how he felt when singing the song. The beautiful lyrics really capture the true aspect of falling in love with someone, “In a storm of feeling, I’m so unappealing.” I don’t know if it’s just me but those words are very hard to argue with because we all feel it at some point and it’s messy.
The final moments on stage for Neck Deep were playing “What Did You Expect?” Which apparently was one of the first songs that the band ever wrote together. The opening is like a typical pop punk song, fast guitars and drums but very simple at that. Fil Thorpe-Evans keeps the bass line simple and effective for this number.
Overall I think Neck Deep smashed it and they definitely deserve their small following that they’ve got and if they keep smashing it like they are, they’ll make it to Blink 182 status someday. Well probably not but a girl can dream right?
Now onto the main event, Bring Me the Horizon. As a huge fan of the band, I am probably biased in my opinions but this band know how to put on a show and that is a fact. After the total whiplash that their fans received from the sound change in That’s The Spirit, I was curious to see how the crowd were going to react to more clean vocals at a Bring Me show than ever before.
The lights dimmed and the stage lit up with background lights that covered the full stage. The backdrop lights showcased different abstract symbols and patterns. The opening song was “Doomed” which is also the opening number of That’s The Spirit. Oli Sykes’ soft vocals open the show and gives us a firsthand look into his new found singing voice. The lyrics are harsh but sung so gently that you forget the reality of the words. When the chorus kicks in Matt Nichols bursts in with a steady drum beat. The guitars are harsh, raw but simple; keeping the song nice for an opening.
“Happy Song” was next and this is a crowd pleaser, almost everyone chanted along with the backing track cheers of “S-P-I-R-I-T, spirit let’s hear it.” For a minute I thought I was at a Linkin Park show, undoubtedly the new sound Bring Me the Horizon have adapted sounds pretty similar to Linkin Park circa 2004 but it’s a good thing, I think anyway.
I personally like the fact that the band still play “Chelsea Smile” live even though they’ve moved on from that genre, majorly. Nevertheless the song always shows how talented Lee Malia is on guitar, showing his boss guitar riffs and simple, yet effective solo. Since the days of their metal core roots Oli has changed his vocal abilities a lot. It is clear now that he can’t handle the strenuous efforts needed to pull off “Chelsea Smile” like he used to but he always gives it his all and that’s all that matters right? Add in making the crowd sit on the floor and jump up when the breakdown hits and it really makes for an interesting live song.
“Shadow Moses” is a fan favourite without a doubt, the whole song has an almost biblical feel to it. The fans go wild for it and there’s no shock there. The backdrop played different images of circles floating around until they formed the flower of life. Keyboard player Jordan Fish heavily shows his synth skills when this song is performed, giving it a great arena like presence.
Another new hit and recent single “True Friends” began with some orchestra-esc backing track. The violins played a riff that sounds suspicious, it also brings an element of classical instruments into modern rock which not many bands can get away with. The crowd cheered along and sung the words until their lungs gave out, exactly what the band wanted.
Closing the show was the much loved anthem “Drown.” A lot of fans didn’t like the song to begin with but eventually, most people were won over and fell in love with it. It was the first song in which we did hear Oli with full clean vocals, along with it originally being a release for their one off sold out show at Wembley Arena, the song turned into a smash hit. Matt Kean keeps the bass simple in this song but his stage presence is one to watch. His passion when playing in Bring Me the Horizon shows that the band help the shy bassist come out of his shell when with these lads playing music. I think that is truly a beautiful thing. Confetti came shooting across the venue like black rain covering the sky. A perfect end to a perfect show.
I left the Edinburgh Corn Exchange extremely happy, I had seen three excellent bands who didn’t disappoint for a single second. Every single fan in the room got to see a unique show with a unique lineup and that is something to remember, whether they enjoyed every band or not. Personally I love all three of the bands but I highly recommend catching their shows the next time they’re near you. It won’t leave you disappointed at all, I promise!