It’s nice being in Soho on a Saturday night, eh? It’s even nicer when some excellent young bands have sold out The Borderline and you’ve got a ticket. That’s what happened, so here’s a review.
6 things we learnt when we saw Feed The Rhino in Soho…
1) Steak Number Eight need to play here more often. The Belgians have got enough sludgy quality in their intense stoner metal to engage an audience without too much natural banter. They’re one of the younger success stories in their homeland, so they’ve got time for that to translate over here.
2) Marmozets’ Becca Macintyre is an excellent role model. If there are any other young girls in baggy hoodies and greasy hair out there wondering what they can do with their lives, seeing Becca Macintyre onstage might give them some ideas. While there are moments where she flails her arms awkwardly to the music, there is no doubt in her vocals. This is impressive.
3) There aren’t many better mathcore bands out there than Marmozets. Sure, they haven’t all quite grown into their t-shirts and sure, they haven’t even released their debut album yet, but the levels of skill and dynamism on display here are difficult to match, regardless of experience. Jack Bottomley expertly taps his guitar for large portions of the show, Sam Macintyre dives into the crowd as often as possible and time has seen Becca Macintyre mature into a mighty snarling beast. You can drop the Paramore comparisons. There’s much, much more here.
4) Feed The Rhino are growing into being as good live as they always threatened to be. Battle commences as the band storms the stage to a drum ‘n’ bass soundtrack. Before the first giant chord of ‘Flood The System’ has finished, Lee Tobin has launched himself into the crowd. It’s clear it’s gonna be one of those gigs. ‘Tides’ proved they’re not quite at the level where they’re getting all their lyrics sung back at them but when you see members of all the other bands clambering through and over the moshpit, it doesn’t matter quite as much.
5) Lee Tobin is a great frontman. Spitting apocalytic rhymes about sweeping waves of carnage and demanding the audience follow his deranged, crazy-eyed lead. This man has been on the road for a long time and he’s learnt every trick in the book. It’s one thing learning them, but it’s another using them, and Tobin does that. Yes, he fluffs his lines when he invites the far-too-crazy crowd up onstage with the band, rendering them unable to actually play, but once everyone’s back on the floor, he carries on as if nothing happened. Seamless.
6) Once FTR have finished ruining lives and dishing out fractured skulls (the ceiling is low and littered with pipes and other paraphernalia), it’s nice going to a gig on a Saturday night and not being turfed out of the venue at 9.45pm because they’ve got a clubnight to prepare for.