Tonight Stream of Passion are back in Glasgow for the first time since 2012 when they supported Epica. Unfortunately it’ll also be their last time as the band has decided to call it a day. I interviewed vocalist Marcela Bovio before the gig and she explained why the band felt now was the time to retire the Stream of Passion band once and for all (see upcoming interview to be posted shortly). Unfortunately things are running a bit late tonight as earlier in the day the Police decided to pull over the bands tour van, discovered them to be around 800 kilos overweight, which then resulted in them having to get another van which all took time. A consequence of this was that the doors which were supposed to open at 6pm didn’t open until nearly 7pm.
It was bit of a surprise when I walked into the hall tonight and found Glasgow’s own Splintered Halo already playing their set. Their name hadn’t been on the online promotional flyers that I’d seen and I initially wondered if they were a replacement for the advertised support. They are however an addition to the bill and since, even though they were formed in 2011, I’ve never them seen live so I was happy to catch up with this 5-piece.
This visually striking band, with their distinctive white face masks and scantily clad singer, run through a set of songs inspired by various movies, and comic books such as the Exorcist, Harley Quinn, and the Wizard of Oz. Presumably the singers sparkly ruby shoes are a nod to the Oz influence.
Vocalist Evilyn expresses her lyrics through a manic nursery rhyme/fairytale type lunacy with nightmarish undertones that swings unpredictably from clean to growled vocals. At times she reminds me of Alice Cooper when he’s at his most unhinged, and at others I hear a Danni Filth influence. It’s commendable that the band are treading their own path and not trying to emulate whoever is popular at the moment. The only criticism I have is that the guitar solos tonight were completely lost in the mix; some more mids to the lead tone and a volume boost would have helped here.
It’s a small crowd so far but the band goes down well with those that have turned up early. If you fancy something a bit quirky and different then you could do worse than checking out Splintered Halo and their upcoming album The Splintered Minds Asylum.
- Dark Side of Oz
- Bloodshed in Wonderland
- Diabolus (Exorcist)
- Mad Love
- Easier to Die
Awake by Design are an English 5-piece who, on their Facebook page, describe their music as “modern, melodic Metal band encompassing the best of the Euro Metal genre”. Their set tonight is drawn almost equally from their two albums Sentiment, released back in 2009, and their newest offering Carve the Sun released last year.
I’ve never seen these guys before but it’s immediately obvious from the start that they enjoy the music they’re playing. Singer Adrian Powell bounces around the cramped stage looking very much like an extra from Top Gun with his leather flight jacket and Tom Cruise’esque hair style. All the band are very good musicians; Dave Favill wanders around the neck on his bass playing some interesting lines instead of just following the root note, Janson Sissons keyboard playing was impressive throughout, and guitarist Luke Hatton’s tasteful melodic solos and vibrato are a joy to watch. While I enjoyed listening to each musician individually the songs as a whole weren’t really winning me over. To my ear, and this is the first time I’ve heard these songs, there were no real hooks or strong memorable chorus sections that really stuck in my head. Good band but the songs for me weren’t immediately accessible. If you have listened extensively to the albums, and are a fan, then you will probably enjoy this well played set more.
- Silence Undone
- Moments of Fame
- Oceans of Hope
- Falling on Me
- Tomorrow’s End
- Tired of Angels
- Disgraced Land
- Carve the Sun
A warm and appreciative roar from the crowd greets Stream of Passion as they take to the stage. Vocalist Marcela has still to come on but the band start playing the familiar strains of “Monster”, the first song from their last album, before she appears with a smile and another cheer from the audience. Guitarist Erik Hazebroek, Bassist Johan van Stratum, and keyboard player Jeffrey Revet are just a mass of swirling long hair as they mosh their way through this one and most of the gig. For a band on their third last ever live appearance, and on the verge of disbanding, they still seem very fresh, enthusiastic, and exude an infectious energy that pulls the crowd along with them.
The set list tonight, as Marcela explains in the interview, was chosen by the fans of the band and covers material from each of their four studio albums and also a couple of covers. Marcela is really on form and her voice sounds stunning this evening. “Let me hear you scream”, she shouts to the crowd and encourages them to chant along, their fists in the air, to another fan favourite “A War of Our Own”.
Marcela picks up her flying V shaped violin and introduces the next song “it’s the third to last Stream of Passion show…let’s make it one to remember. This one is In the End”. Indeed Marcela chats and interacts with the crowd throughout the gig. She jokes about audience members who yawn, chats to some fellow Mexicans in the crowd, and tells stories of the band’s unfortunate encounter with the Police that same day. It’s a small intimate venue, the crowd are literally standing right next to the band, and the communication between the audience and the guys on stage really makes you feel like you have more of a connection with the band.
After several more classic Stream of Passion songs we come to the first cover of the evening. “We read a review by someone who didn’t appreciate the cover we’re going to do right now”, Marcella tells us, “too many power chords” she laughs and the band launch into the Radiohead cover “Street Spirit”. The critic may not appreciate it but Glasgow does, in fact every song tonight is a winner with this crowd.
There are so many good songs tonight it’s difficult to pick favourites but one of the highlights for me was when Marcela was telling us about her experiences when first moving from Mexico to Holland and how it inspired the song “Lost”. It’s a song where her voice really shines and it really showcases her talent.
I have to admit when it came to Stream of Passion giving their final bow I felt a twinge of sadness knowing that this would be the last time I would ever see them playing live. I normally end reviews encouraging readers to go and see the band on their other dates but unfortunately if you haven’t seen them by now then you probably never will. There will be a live DVD of the final tour released at some point in the future so make sure you check that out. It’s been a great evening and I feel very lucky to have managed to catch the band before they finish up. I wish them all the best of luck with their future projects and hopefully we’ll see some of them back in Glasgow again in the future.
- A War of Our Own
- In the End
- Don’t Let Good
- Out in the Real World
- Street Spirit (Radiohead cover)
- This Endless Night
- I Have a Right (Sonata Arctica cover)
- The Curse
Photography by Lara Vischi – ishootmetal.com