Review by Matt Bradley
Imagine this; You’re in a band in the middle of your second UK headlining tour and for unforeseen circumstances, three of the six members can’t play a gig. What do you do? Most bands would cancel the gig, but London hardcore boys TRC aren’t most bands.
Aurora are the first band the grace the terribly small stage in the Red Room on this damp Monday night. Leading lady Jessica Calvesbert’s vocals switch from roars that rival Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow to singing that isn’t too far from Kittie’s more melodic offerings, with a little high pitched stuff a la the late Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence. The female fronted metalcore group from Birmingham do a pretty good job of warming up the crowd, even if those in attendance only seem to react when Aurora start to chug.
For some bizarre reason, the Red Room fills with the sounds of pumping house music for a solid quarter of an hour before finally dying down as Astroid Boys begin their set which wouldn’t sound out of place at a grime concert. Main vocalist Phillipe Constantinou admittedly does has a cheeky charm about him, but musically it is a bit repetitive and simplistic. The multitude of lyrics spouted during the set are all full of puerile humour written solely to crack a smile, and the now packed room goes absolutely mental to the Welsh lads. The brap-braps and glorification of a band member currently being in jail, though? Unnecessary.
After what seems like an age (doesn’t it always?), Lasselle Lewis gets behind the kit, Charlie Wilson picks up his guitar and Chris Robson picks up his microphone… but where are the rest of TRC and who are these other guys? As Robson is quick to point out, second vocalist Anthony, rhythm guitarist Ben and bassist Oli are all unable to play tonight so instead of disappointing the fans, they have acquired the services of Bobby Daniels and Jon Farley on bass and guitar, respectively, and Mr Intimidating aka Nathan Prowler (from long-time friends Prowler) to fill in with the screams. The London boys smash into the set with the opening track from 2011’s Bright Lights, ‘H.A.T.E.R.S.’, before flying straight into the breakneck ‘We Bring War’. It’s a tiny venue with a stage so small that a band of performing ants would feel claustrophobic on it, so naturally Robson and Prowler spill out into the crowd a few times. TRC turn back the clock but keep it up-to-date with ‘Beefeater 1’ and ‘Beefeater 2’ (the former being a reworked track from 2007’s Destroy and Rebuild, the latter from new album Nation), go prehistoric with ‘Fuck You, Die Slow’ before bringing it back to the present day with crowd favourite ‘#TeamUK’. It’s worth noting that Lasselle absolutely slays behind the kit in a way that most hardcore drummers only wish they could, most evident during encore ‘London’s Greatest Love Story’, when he lands a sickenly impressive fill that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Behemoth record.
With three stand-in members and a stage so small that most people couldn’t see the entire band, it was never going to be the best of performances. All things considered, it was a fun 45 minutes for all, and the fact that TRC honoured the gig in the first place is real testament to how much they respect their fans and love what they do. Top marks, boys.
2. We Bring War
3. Define Cocky
4. Beefeater 1
5. Beefeater 2
6. Fuck You, Die Slow
9. Go Hard or Go Home
10. London’s Greatest Love Story