Saturday 26 August saw London-based Karybdis and Leicester’s own Internal Conflict hit town for the Scottish Leg of their six date UK tour, ably supported by local favourites, and no stranger to these pages, Glasgow’s Burning The Dream and Rare Breed. Four class acts for under a tenner on a Saturday night…what’s not to like?
Rare Breed were first out of the starting blocks at around 7.30 to sadly, a rather sparsely populated Ivory Blacks. Thankfully however, their energetic frontman made light of this, asking folks to “come on in” before introducing his band mates and together launching into a really enjoyable seven song set of catchy, heavy and downright groovy tracks from the band’s back catalogue and forthcoming EP. Rare Breed delivered a tight and accomplished set belaying their enviable youth (take that as a compliment from an old metal-head!). Those that stuck around to hear closing track, and set highlight, “City of Hands” surely were not disappointed…keep up the good work lads.
After just about catching breath and grabbing a well needed libation, Burning The Dream stomped onto the stage with the confidence of a band gaining quite a reputation in the local scene. Dispatching with any formalities, they stormed straight into their opening number, the technically excellent “Thoughtless”. A few more had joined the crowd by this stage and charismatic frontman Paul Kelly proceeded to introduce his partners in crime including telling the crowd that poor drummer Richard Paton was suffering from kidney stones, a fact that would be all the more impressive by the end of the set. The band delivered a technically excellent set of progressive and groovy extreme metal taken from their debut EP Darkwaters and new tracks yet to be released.
For this reviewer, who will admit to knowing little of the band before the night, Burning The Dream reminded me of a beautiful bastard child of triumvirate fathers, Meshuggah, Lamb of God and Bloodbath if that be possible…praise indeed. Praise must also go to frontman Paul who captivated the small crowd with his strutting, funky dancing and general all around banter, from his heartfelt plead for charity sponsorship, requesting that the crowd dance, introducing joint headliners “Carrot Fish”, to his full frontal political tirades (good job I never wore my Maggie Thatcher t-shirt!). For a young guy (there’s the ageist in me again), the man has presence which is sometimes rare in less established bands and makes gigs all the more interactive and enjoyable in this reviewers humble opinion…oh and let’s not forget Richard on drums, well done, that man!
Next up were joint headliner Leicester’s Internal Conflict. Relatively fresh from Bloodstock, these guys delivered an aggressive and energetic set much of which was taken from 2015’s well received first length debut, The Rising Tide. Highlight was the excellent “Baying for Blood” which included a cameo from Karybdis bassist Jay, having learnt the song in just a day. The band clearly enjoy their craft and their musical delivery was both tight and impressive in equal measure, driven in the main by the twin guitar harmonies of axemen Sean Rice and Matt Hall aided by rabid bassist Pete Lord who launched himself into the crowd for their anthemic closer. A good set from a band in a rich vein of form.
Headliners, on this occasion, Karybdis sauntered on stage to a decent response which got even more raucous as lead singer Rich O’Donnell opened up proceedings by thanking the crowd for spending the night with “Us English Bastards”!
Karybdis have been plying their trade since 2009 and on the night it showed. They delivered a mature and technically assured set full of the kind of progressive, deathly, hardcore influenced grooves that the band are making their own. The guys have a growing back catalogue to plunder and took a decent smattering from their latest release, 2016’s excellent Samsara, with track “Monster” being a real foot-stomping standout – the lead riff on this one is eye-wateringly catchy and worked really well in this intimate live environment. All in a great show by a band who are clearly at home on a the stage, reciprocating the gesture from earlier in the evening by inviting bassist Pete from Internal Conflict to play mid-way through, which added to the genial and friendly atmosphere that pervaded the evening. The band’s name Karybdis, apparently comes from Greek “Charybdis”, a sea monster that would suck unlucky passing sailors to their deaths…rather apt on this evidence.
All in a very enjoyable night and well worth the small entrance fee. However, one small gripe… the lack of punters, which I think was a shame given the calibre of acts on show and the more than reasonable entrance fee. Equally, clearly a lot of those in attendance were friends and fans of the two local bands, many of whom proceeded to sit down at the tables and chat through the two headliners’ sets. Come on Glasgow, show some more respect.
All photos by Coops Gig Photography