Gig Review: Sumo Cyco / Skarlett Riot, Manchester Rebellion (21st March 2018)

There are a lot of new and upcoming female fronted rock bands these days, but none stand out as much as these two bands. From the fire and fury that Skarlett Riot’s latest album Regenerate brings, to the incredible new punk sound Sumo Cyco bring forward featuring hits from their latest album Opus Mar such as the empowering “Move Mountains”. These 2 bands on the same tour is an incredible experience to witness.

Skarlett Riot (c) Katie Frost Photography

The Rebellion Bar quickly filled up as excited fans rushed to get as close to the stage as possible to see the bands tear the place a new one. The tightly packed crowd stood eagerly awaiting as showtime approached. The lights dimmed eventually and the intro to “Break” started.

Many cheers for the supporting act, Skarlett Riot, filled the room as Luke approached the drums. A short few seconds later Danny and not the usual bassist Martin, but an equally as brilliant stand-in Tim Chambers, walked on stage. Followed closely by the incredible frontwoman Skarlett, their set began with an excited introduction welcomed by fans with loud screams and devil horns raised high in the air. Just as the screams seemed as if they couldn’t get any louder, Skarlett’s encouragement of “Scream!” definitely woke the place up.

It didn’t take long for the mosh pits to start going and the headbanging on the front row. The intro from their latest album Regenerate was followed straight away by the heavy, hard hitting “The Storm” which kept the atmosphere sky high. You could feel the excitement spread through the room like wildfire. After each song Skarlett Riot showed appreciation for the fans by a short introduction to the band followed by a thank you to both Sumo Cyco for taking them on the road and to the fans for enabling them to perform and create music.

With this set you can already see that Skarlett Riot are on their way to the top in the music industry. From Luke’s hard-hitting drumming creating the beat for the room to jump to, through the incredible guitar tones followed by Skarlett’s unique and powerful voice, this is a must see live band. The end of the set came too quickly for its own good as they closed their time on stage with the incredible song “Warrior” in which Skarlett took a walk through the crowd to give that personal close-to-fan experience. The room was full of excitement and energy as many fans sang the words back to Skarlett Riot. Welcomed with open devil horns and raising the bar high, Skarlett Riot’s incredible performance was complete. Sumo Cyco had a lot to live up to!

As the Skarlett Riot decor was replaced with the Sumo Cyco stage setup the excitement raised through the room once again. The tension of waiting finally dropped when they hit the stage welcomed with very loud cheers and screams, opening the place with the uplifting “Sleep Tight” from their latest album Opus Mar. The shreds of the intro lit the place up instantly and the fast paced drumming didn’t take long to cause the pits to open up.

Sumo Cyco (c) Katie Frost Photography

The next song to keep the excitement and uplifting vibes going was the 2016 hit single “Anti-Anthem”. A rebellious song fit for a rebellious crowd to connect to and shout the words even louder back to the incredible front woman that is Skye Sweetnam. It’s safe to say the bar was definitely raised with this fiery energetic performance. All through the set the energy didn’t drop once, from the powerful headbanging and lively stage atmosphere, to the mosh pits and the sardine-packed crowd singing back every word, you could feel the connection from the band to the fans. All of which made the night extra special for the bands that played.

Skye, MD13, Thor and Trozzi – each brought their own incredible talent to the stage to perform hit songs from their back catalogue, including the fans old favourites such as “Loose Canon”, “Go Go Go” and “Like A Killer”. All of which were also infused into the performance enabling a varied mix from the band’s discography for old fans to sing to and new fans to get to know. Each time the band stomp their feet in the UK, the growth and development of each album comes stronger and more powerful. Each performance gets better and enables a new following of rebellious fans to support them on their road to conquering the world.

Based in Hamilton Ontario, Canada, the band have developed a world wide following in a few short years, in which they appreciate every fan and every opportunity they take. You can see from the energy levels and close face to face contact the band have, how much they appreciate what they do for a living.

Sumo Cyco (c) Katie Frost Photography

Next up were new hits from their latest album Opus Mar such as “Free Yourself”, “Brave II” and “Passengers”. Each of these brought a fast paced, headbanging vibe of energy to the ever increasingly heated room. However that didn’t stop the crowd from enjoying every second. The latest album has landed its feet securely in the UK and gained a great reputation for the guys in Sumo Cyco, expanding their career ever more with each song.

As the set came to a close, and the band left the stage after performing their hit “Limp”, the constant chants of “Su-mo Cy-co” almost broke the walls with the loud soundwaves that eventually brought the band back on with big smiles on their appreciative faces to perform the last two songs of the set.

Before “Move Mountains” they gave a shout out to Skindred’s Benji Webbe who features in the recorded track. The second to last song was performed with a lot of stage presence, a lot of jumping and a lot of crowds cheers, maintained the uplifting vibe. With the crowd shouting back every word ever louder, even though the heat was starting to take its toll, the atmosphere didn’t drop once.

And finally their latest single “Undefeated” brought a close to the incredible energetic show that was. Ending to loud applause and cheers, the greedy crowd wanting “one more song” the band left with a proud bow and a huge thank you to Skarlett Riot and the fans. The set was over. However, the excitement only left the room when the fans left made their way out with words of “what an incredible gig” and “amazing bands, they will both go far”. It will only be a matter of time before the quartet are welcomed back to the UK with open arms.

Photos by Katie Frost Photography

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