There might not have been many people there (Sunday night gigs can GTFO) but Gavin Lloyd was at Palm Reader’s Islington show to catch all the carnage. Even if, err, the more unfortunate part of that carnage was caused by a support band playing their last ever show….
Six things we learnt watching Palm Reader play in London:
1) It may be down to the fact that it’s a Sunday and the vast majority who are struggling with hangovers don’t want bearded men who are pretty miffed screaming in their face, but the crowd tonight is disappointingly sparse. Despite this Blowgoat spare little time in causing a ruckus. Their southern-tinged hardcore may cherrypick a lot from the likes of Every Time I Die and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, but there is no disputing that they are a lot of fun.
2) Unfortunately The Catharsis are a man down tonight and forced to play as a four piece. With drummer Chris unable to attend, guitarist Ash wins the multi-tasker of the night award as he takes over stickman duties and does such a fine job that those unfamiliar with the band would be unaware of the switch before it’s pointed out.
Watch the video to ‘O’Recluse’ by the Catharsis:
3) Frontman Morgan Tedd and his cohorts already have a wealth of charisma and stage presence that can sometimes be sadly absent from what is often a humble genre and surpasses the size of the stage they are currently on. The likes of recent single ‘O’ Recluse’ may only get one or two mic grabs however on the strength of the material on offer there may be far more punters scrambling to scream the lyrics in the near future.
4) This is Floods’ last ever show and if there was any confusion why the band are splitting up it is soon abundantly clear due to such a shoddy, half-arsed performance. There’s plenty of dicking around and the band play with all the enthusiasm of five bankers who have recently lost their jobs and can’t afford to pay their prostitutes any more. The silence that greets the announcement of their “last ever song” is deafening and proof that the few fans here are just as disinterested as the band themselves. Considering they’ve played the likes of Download and Sonisphere in the past, hopefully a band who actually care can take their place.
Watch the video to ‘Noble Host’ by Palm Reader:
5) Palm Reader are the polar opposite; there’s no shortage of passion and emotion on display once they take to the stage. They play as if this is their last show but aren’t going down without a fight. Still facing a very sombre crowd the band make up for it themselves by flailing their bodies all over the room and making their presence very much felt. As even drummer Dan Olds is scrambling to get away from his kit it’s a struggle to know who to keep your eyes on.
6) Sonically the band sound disgustingly huge and for a band wielding such a chaotic stage craft they remain incredibly tight. Their dense and bludgeoning breed of hardcore hits as hard as a brick to the face but also comes loaded with the emotional clout of said brick being wielded by your nan. Those who didn’t show up due to post alcohol Sunday blues would be a nervous wreck following this onslaught. Tonight has shown the good and bad about the UK hardcore scene, but as long as we still have bands like Palm Reader leading the charge there’s a lot to be grateful for.