Editor’s note: Amy reviewed Burden of the Noose and By Any Means in Portsmouth. Sheggs reviewed Raging Speedhorn in Leeds with By Any Means and Stoneghost opening.
On by far the hottest day of the year so far I was off to the see the hotly anticipated tour by Raging Speedhorn in support of their latest album Lost Rituals (reviewed by Moshville Times here). I headed down early to ensure that I got to see all the sets and was pleased to see the Key Club had fans (the electric, whirry ones) in place, so worry one was ticked off my list.
As I arrived Belfast’s By Any Means had just taken to the stage and the place was thumping from the power and speed of the bass and the cries of frontman. This four piece hardcore outfit took the crowd by the throat and blast into a couple of extreme numbers. Bearded frontman Lyness was almost curled up over his mic such was the passion to scream out his vocal duties. What I really like about By Any Means though is that, yes they are hardcore, but there was actually a lot of variety in the set and one of those most prominent stylistic aspects of this was the bass. It was loud but really carried a different groove to the band when it was needed. Great opening act and I would like to see more of these guys and on a bigger stage too – the key club doesn’t allow much for movement.
Next up was Stoneghost, a band dominated by the towering and huge persona of frontman Jason Smith. Not only has Smith got a huge stage presence, at times menacing and almost always angry, but his vocals are spot on and he is easily able to move from more reflective singing to full blown shouts in seconds. Like By Any Means before them, it did not take Stoneghost long to get the interest of the whole audience and everyone was into the show.
One of the troubles of the evening, and perhaps this part of West Yorkshire, is that the crowd was small tonight which was a real shame as the pictures from the rest of the tour have shown much larger packed out shows. I know it was hot and a Tuesday but if we want bands of the calibre of these two coming to Leeds they need to be supported and think the frustration of the empty space in front of the stage got to all the bands as the evening wore on. But, if anything, they all rose to the challenge, worked harder to get the crowd involved and create that atmosphere. Stoneghost’s set went between some great doom laden riffs to some extreme hard core and I loved them. I just hope we see them here again soon because for those who were there Stoneghost were a blast – energetic, thoughtful, angry passionate and exciting. Great support from both bands.
But what of the mighty Raging Speedhorn? This was a gig I was looking forward to for a while and I was not disappointed. Raging Speedhorn destroyed the place, I loved every second of the gig from the moment the feedback droned and the band came on stage.
It may not be the biggest stage but the band dominated it. With the incredible intensity of the two frontmen, one who looked throughout as though he was going to kick the shit out of us and the other was probably gonna spit on our beaten corpses. For me set wise, it was a great choice as it leaned heavily on latest release Lost Rituals, which I think is easily their best work to date. I was not disappointed as this included a demonised version of “Bring Out the Dead” and a great singalong anthem with “Motorhead” in the opening three songs.
Whether the heat and turnout was getting to the bands it was hard to tell. A member of the audience at the front had his phone confiscated by a very pissed off vocalist at one point. If they were, they still came out with a devastating performance, one worthy of much bigger stages. They fit in plenty of classics too – “The Hate Song” and “Thumper” were just a couple. It was at the end of the set that I loved most though with a brilliant version of “Ten of Swords”.
All three bands tore the place down. Next time, Leeds, make sure you are there at the front joining in that destruction if you want any more next times. Like the album, this was definitely a contender for gig of the year.
Amy reviewed the Portsmouth show a couple of day later after Stoneghost had to pull out. She also took all the photos!