Recalling a time long since gone Camden Town used to the hub of all things alternative sadly a far cry from it’s former glory the borough now houses more disposable knock offs than rare finds of genius. With this sentiment in mind we move into London’s Koko which tonight will house a true hero of the Gothic calling and poster band for the times of controversy and rebellion that the borough used to stand for.
23rd October 2015
London, Camden Town
Support Bands: Ne Obliviscaris, She Will Burn
Kicking things off for the macabre proceedings are local band She Will Burn, which have the hard task of conjuring up the audience from their slumber. Though the band perform well the kind of fans that are here tonight know what they like and aren’t completely swayed, yet performing with gusto the band give it their all.
Its not often that a band can come close to truly blowing the main act out of the water. Yet it seems that this theory was about to be tested. Returning to the UK after their performance at Bloodstock Ne Obliviscaris confidently arrive on stage. Going straight for the progressive jugular the band unleash the grand finale of their new album Citadel “Devour Me Colossus Part I“. Immediately gripping each person in the room’s attention as the band begin their evolution process.
With singer’s Xen covering the ying of the musical spectrum dealing with the harsher vocals whilst Tim Charles ensures that the audience are bathed in amelodious yang sections. Navigating the treacherous territory beautifully the band are not only a feast for the ears but for the eyes. Not over crowding the stage but merely giving such variance in both their delivery and tone the band ensnare the entirety of London’s Koko in one fell swoop. No doubt surprising the less accustomed of the scene when Charles brings out the band’s secret weapon of violin delivering a haunting interlude.
Precisely this understanding of fluctuation between the calm melodies before the abrasive attack which makes up the synthesis of NeO. Couple this with the incendiary performances delivered where each note is absolutely pitch perfect, in time and unbelievably mixed. Within one song the band are able to deconstruct themselves disassembling and rebuilding the track, to the minute details to the individual members yet later coalesce for a truly triumphant and most importantly cohesive crescendo. With their entire set consisting of four tracks the band have delivered one of the most tight, musically calculating yet emotionally enthralling sets of the year. With news surrounding the band that recently they have made important financial decisions that will impact the band meaning they are now in this for the long haul, trust me, they have nothing to worry about. Absolutely exceptional.
For any normal band you would expect that they would indeed have their work cut out for them, yet with a penchant for the theatrical Cradle Of Filth are seasoned veterans of the live performance. Recent rumblings in the blackened undergrowth all point to the sign that the band have returned to their roots, embracing this sentiment the band launch into “Heaven Torn Asunder” causing uproarious recognition from the throes of Filthites waiting with baited breath. Not pausing for a second the band move into yet another classic “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids” the fan favourite is lapped up by the front row, with the stage flanked by two set pieces of skeletons in Christ poses being rather tame. Until the first example of new material “Blackest Magick In Pratice” see’s the stages already busy mix added with two women who shed their PVC trimmings to a more revealing get up. Adding the classic Cradle aesthetic of vampiric creatures of the night, whilst being slightly unnecessary brings a sense of the theatrical and blasphemous into the fold.
After our succubi leave the band kick things firmly into gear with classic “Lord Abortion” moving seamlessly into new banger “Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych” yet again showing why Koko’s sound is so impeccable with lead guitarist Ashok’s dazzlings leads come through the speakers at exactly the right levels. Cue the return of our two vempires returning this time in the all the more tongue in cheek Nun outfit after the expected NSFW reveal and a slightly over excited throw of a cross causing a flying crucifix the song comes to it’s close to welcome the monolithic “Deflowering The Maidenhead, Displeasuring The Goddess“. Seeing the new line up really strut their stuff not only creatively is the song one of the band’s strongest in decades but the delivery live is absolutely second to none with keysmistress Lindsay Schoolcraft taking on the Gaia like persona giving the song bountiful character. After a quick hop off stage the band return for yet another new cut “Yours Immortally” lashes just as it would be expected to ferociously ripping past, before arguably their most successful “Nymphetamine (Fix)” see’s the crowd’s volume match the onstage amps. Before the finale of “The Twisted Nails Of Faith” of course the quintessential “Her Ghost In The Fog” where Dani Filth’s iconic and inimitable shrieks reach a melancholic cresendo, ensuring it still fifteen years on the embodiment of all that is Cradle of Filth.
Monopolized by non descript tourist shops which essentially sell entirely the same copycat rip off merch the true essence of what made Camden Goth’s burial ground is now lost. Tonight however Cradle of Filth have brought that air of just what Camdenities used to embody thirteen odd years ago when the place was still seen as the alternative hub back into the spotlight and though the time may have changed ensure that Cradle have not.