Pure Love + Chain of Flowers @ The Glee Club, Birmingham – Wednesday 18th July 2012

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Review by Jack Arkell

Amongst the six members of Welsh band Chain of Flowers, two of them sport band T-shirts of Roxy Music and Napalm Death. Their sound is somewhere in between, and while their set suffers from a slow start, tracks such as ‘Sleep’ and ‘Spit’ recover things nicely and the crowd slowly warm to them. For such a young band, their inclusion on this tour is a great opportunity for them, and is one that they eventually seize.

Former Gallows man Frank Carter may have traded his punk for a more traditional rock and roll style, but anyone who thought he’d gone soft was in for a shock. Whether hanging off of the ceiling of the Glee Club, performing an entire song supported by the arms of the crowd or standing in the middle of the hoard with guitarist Jim Carroll, Carter is still one of the best frontmen in the world.

Performing only their eighth live show, Pure Love show no signs of rust or nerves as they rifle through a short, yet magnificent set. ‘We’ve only got two songs out,’ Carter grins, clearly surprised at the number of people inside what is traditionally a comedy club. ‘Without you lot this would be one expensive band practice.’

As for the crowd, they are more lively and excitable than any band in their infancy could ever hope for. Many of them sport the band’s merchandise as a show of support for Carter’s new project. Already released tracks ‘Bury My Bones’ and ‘Handsome Devil’s Club’ are received like old classics, but it is the beautiful ‘Beach of Diamonds’ that really whets the appetite for the forthcoming debut album ‘Anthems’. The dynamic frontman tonight dedicates this song to a close friend who had recently suffered a motorcycle accident, and accordingly sings with all the emotion that he can muster.

It’s not all about Frank though. Ex-Hope Conspiracy guitarist Jim Carroll would be the focal point of most bands, throwing his guitar around and jumping into the awaiting sea of arms in front of the stage. Determined not to be upstaged by his band mate, Carroll puts his own stamp on the show, proving that he is certainly more than a background member.

With Gallows, Frank Carter proved that he is capable of putting on some of the most chaotic live performances you will ever see. Though the music has changed, this fact has not, and it is clear even now that Pure Love are a band to start getting excited about.

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