Friday night in Liverpool for a sold out show, the Arts Club is the place to be for the Liverpool metal community, with Loathe headlining along with Modern Error and Slow Crush.
Musically each band bring something different tonight and it was good that it was so busy from the start of the night, people weren’t going to come down late for just the headliner, which happens far too much around here.
Slow Crush, on day 2 of their own European Tour, are from Belgium. They played their first show in March 2017 and since then have played festivals like Dreamgaze ATX and Roadburn, and are confirmed for next year’s ArcTanGent and Outbreak festivals.
Fronted by Isa Holliday, her bright red bass looks enormous next to her, just like her heavy riffs in contrast to her quiet relaxing vocals, perfect for the abrasive shoegaze style that Slow Crush play.
I’m not sure if Slow Crush have played in the UK before but they certainly had an audience, people have made an effort to get in early for a reason, and Slow Crush didn’t disappoint. They only played a 20 minute set, but it was a big 20 minutes! Their new album Hush is out now via Church Road Records.
Modern Error include creative twin brothers Zak and Kel Pinchin. Unfortunately they had to pull out of the Glasgow show a day earlier so this was first gig of the tour for them. Vocalist Zak looks great in a smart clean ironed sky blue shirt and black gloves, holding the mic tightly with both hands his stage presence is clearly important and fits the heavy magnetic sound they have.
Recently they released a new single called Error Of The World, with an accompanying video directed by Zak, who said this track is “a duality of audio and visual, expressing a sign of the times as a heightened modern world”
Their long-awaited debut album, Victim Of A Modern Age, will be released on January 21st 2022 on Rude Records. Hopefully they return to Liverpool to promote it.
After two well received performances it was time for the main band, Loathe.
Tonight is a three band bill, however the two earlier bands might of gave it 100%, but Loathe will make sure the 500 capacity crowd will get their money’s worth, and everyone waiting for them to take the stage who have seen them before knows this to be true.
Loathe chose a well know local tune, You’ll Never Walk Alone as their intro music for tonight’s show. Where any Evertonians in the crowd alienated? I’m not sure, but judging on how quick everyone got right into the set I seriously doubt it.
A Loathe show in Liverpool is special, I’m sure they will give it everything, they probably did in Glasgow the night before and will in Birmingham the day after, but a home town gig with plenty of friends and family in the crowd will alwys be an event.
The venue wasn’t too big, although obviously it sold out well in advance. Seeing as people were hunting on social media for tickets, they could have filled a bigger venue, but a stage like the Arts Club Theatre is perfect for them to keep a close rapport between the band and the crowd, with everyone feeding energy from each other.
From track one the crowd surfers are up and I have to say respect to the security tonight as they kept everyone safe. The hour long set devoured by a mixture of not just surfers, who were all caught and delivered back to the crowd, but circle pits too.
Tonight Loathe are performing the 2020 album I Let It In And It Took Everything in full, crazy scenes especially on the track Gored, a highlight from the second LP, this one had the crowd split down the middle by Kadeem, ready for some action.
What’s great about the Loathe live experience is that they don’t just come on stage and play the songs, leaving it up to the crowd to make an atmosphere, they put on a full show with lights and TV monitors, making it a visual as well as a musical experience.
In a year when shows have been thin on the ground I’m just glad what is looking my final one of 2021 was a special one.
Photography by Brian Sayle, who was on hand to capture the magic of the night.