Californian post-hardcore heavyweights Finch hit the capital for their first London headline show since announcing their reformation in the summer of 2007. Mike Haydock was there to give you the lowdown on Thrash Hits .com.
It’s tough to have compassion when bands split up and then get back together. It’s tough to forgive. Especially when you’ve had a childhood tarnished by Ginger from The Wildhearts, who used to announce on a weekly basis that his band were splitting up, only for them to ‘mysteriously’ get back together again when their so-called “final ever gig” sold out.
When Finch split back in 2006, it seemed like a sick joke, especially since Say Hello To Sunshine had just updated their emo-heavy sound into something bolder, more complicated, and genre-busting. And to make matters worse, it was dubbed a “hiatus”, meaning that fans had to sit tight and wait, perhaps for nothing.
But wait they did, and in their legions – the Scala is rammed tonight. There’s isn’t a spare spot anywhere, even on the upstairs balconies, and for the first time in a long time, the pit lives up to its name, youngsters seizing the day in case it never comes again, hurling themselves forward and into each other in a frenzy of excitement.
It’s not unfair to presume before the gig that Finch will have jettisoned their earlier material, yet equal weight is given to each of their two albums, and even the rarely-played crowd favourite ‘Letters To You’ bounces out of the speakers. It’s a wise move, a conciliatory gesture from the Californians, and it sends the crowd into raptures, girls turning to each other, squealing with excitement, and joining together to sing.
It’s more than a gesture, though: this is a celebration. The band are enjoying playing these songs, and Nate Barcalow (pictured, above) spends a large amount of time smiling – when he isn’t curled up on the floor of the stage screaming his lungs out.
Cuts off Say Hello To Sunshine are typically powerful and uncompromising, especially ‘Insomniatic Meat’, and the new material seems to be building on that template. But it’s the finale – ‘What It Is To Burn’ – that truly seals the deal, propelling the sweaty onlookers to ecstasy by answering all their prayers.
Finch are well and truly back, reinvigorated by the break. They took a risk back there, but it’s paid off – word has spread about them, and they’re adored. If they can keep up this newfound momentum, they’ll be unstoppable.
‘Worms Of The Earth’
‘Letters To You’
‘Without You Here’
‘Daylight’ (new song)
‘Dreams Of Psilocybin’
New Song (new song)
‘Three Simple Words’
‘Stay With Me’
‘What It Is To Burn’
Live photo courtesy of Ashley Goris.