When influential Italian screamo-types, Raein, announced they would be playing their first UK shows for over six years, longterm fan Tom Doyle made sure he was one of the lucky few that crowded into the Old Blue Last to be reminded as to just why they’re such a big deal.
Six things we learnt when Raein (finally!) came back to London…
1) ‘New year, new start’ and all that nonsense, but 2013 sees London hipster den The Old Blue Last continuing where it left off in 2012 by providing us with a super smashing line up of domestic hardcore, anthemic emo and Euro screamo to get our newly resolutioned eyes and ears around. First up to peddle their wares are Cardiff lads Goodtime Boys who bluster and blow but don’t quite hit the top gear that their recorded output suggests they can when the chips fall their way. That said, they are met with a reception from the assembled throng that indicates that they will reap success in the year to come.
2) Contrastingly, Big Scary Monster records’ Crash of Rhinos take the bold step of confounding the audiences expectations by playing a set comprised entirely of new songs and in doing so undermine any hope of a good old fashioned sing a long which tracks from their recent (excellent) LP Distal would have induced.
3) That said, ‘Rhinos are brilliant, meandering and dense but never obtuse they combine chunky, memorable choruses with broad sonic brushstrokes and their trademark four way vocals to fine effect. Even if the biggest cheer they get all night is for a cheeky jam of the intro to ‘Big Sea’ they have made it clear that the next thing they decide to commit to record will maintain their high standard.
4) Having not been over to the UK for over six years (and having disbanded in the interim) there is a great deal of anticipation for the return of Italian screamo legends Raein tonight. 2011’s full length Sulla linea d’orizzonte tra questa mia vita e quella di tutti (to give its entire mouthful of a title) was a lesson in what they are still capable of, and a sold out OBL tells its own story – if tonight’s not quite at fever pitch then it’s damn close.
Watch some of Raein’s set from the Old Blue Last:
5) As you would expect, it’s frenetic, angular stuff from the off and at the set’s peak Andrea Console is orchestrating a flail of limbs and voices at the front of the stage. That said, the energy level on stage seems a little down across the whole band, odd for the first night of the tour but perhaps they have yet to really get into the groove of this run of shows – if ever a band deserved the benefit of the doubt it is Raein.
6) Having whipped the crowd to a climax the men from Italy succumb to the crowds chants for a final song and in doing so rob their set of some of it’s structure, surely better to leave us wanting more than to finish on a bit off a whimper? Nevertheless, they have done more than enough tonight to show that over a decade since their first recordings surfaced they are a force to be reckoned with, and just why they are still rightly regarded as one of the most important proponents of their genre.
Raein’s new album, Sulla linea d’orizzonte tra questa mia vita e quella di tutti – their first in three years – is currently available as a free download from the band’s official website. Don’t be a freeloader prick though – chuck them a few quid/dollars/Euros/whatevers via the donate button if you download it. Don’t download it and give nothing back. Don’t be that guy.