Cancer Bats at Koko, London, UK – 15th March 2013

Posted by Bianca on Friday Mar 15, 2013 Under Hardcore Punk

Gig Review by Chloe Gynne / Gig Photos by Jordan Curtis Hughes

Cancer Bats
Cancer Bats

As Camden greet Canada’s Cancer Bats to Koko’s stage, vocalist Liam Cormier tells the crowd “[he has] a feeling that we’re gonna have the greatest party ever”, and it would seem he’s not wrong. They take no time to launch into ‘Bricks & Mortar’, riffing their way through the track and indeed, the entire set with a live clarity which many other hardcore bands lack.

Cancer Bats
Cancer Bats

With ‘Sleep This Away’ comes an unbreakable intensity between the band and their wild fans, feeding off of each other’s energy as the pulsating beat pushes into ‘Sorceress’, where the night’s first circle pit is formed, never closing until Koko’s early curfew forces it shut. By now, the floor is a mass of sweat and limbs; pints and bodies are thrown, and we’re not even halfway through the set. The energy remains for ‘Shillelagh’, the sludge and screams falling perfectly on the audience’s ears. Watching this well-toured band, it’s clear they know their metal moves, seen here with bassist Jaye R. Schwarzer’s power stance as close to the crowd as he can get, and Cormier’s regular trips into the faces of the front row- but their moves never seem rehearsed or premeditated, a truly authentic band who are exciting to watch.

Cancer Bats
Cancer Bats

After an uncompromising first half, enthusiasm briefly dips for ‘Old Blood’ and ‘Black Metal Bicycle’ but not for long, as ‘Sonic Mind Assault’ brings everyone back up to super-speed, a surprise highlight of the set. Fan favourite ‘Deathsmarch’ follows, and the response is riotous, and the band take the time to thank their fans old and new for their support. It’s now time for the song which, inevitably, everybody is waiting for- as the opening riff to their cover ‘Sabotage’ plays, the crowd suitably put all of their energy into creating the night’s biggest pit, and sacrifice their lungs to scream each word along with the band.

Cancer Bats
Cancer Bats

Onstage, Cancer Bats play with enough ferocity to prove that they deserve every hard-earned fan, and every moment of applause they get tonight, and with closer ‘R.A.T.S.’ comes disappointment, not with the music, but the fact that the show must already end. The night feels too young, and the walk back to the tube station sees fans wishing they were still within the confines of the brilliant musicianship Cancer Bats provide. Thankfully, as a band who love touring, it shouldn’t be long before they’re back on a London stage.

Cancer Bats
Cancer Bats

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