REVIEW gig Novelists Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Ifor Bach Deems Novelists Worthy

For Today’s 'Wake Tour' had been grinding up Europe for the last two weeks and just as the three bands accelerated down the date list, the finish line was finally within their grasp. Wales however, is no stranger to a splash of colourful chaos and would have been considered an alarming notion to comprehend if the acts had not paid the vibrant capital a brief but devastating visit.

Clwb Ifor Bach is well-known for the creative mix of outstanding and unique artists that are led to its doors but it would be the downstairs venue, which would set the tone for sins of all nature to be forsaken and met with a healthy helping of spine-altering Christian cleansing.

Joining the tour and opening the night for a one off performance was local hardcore quintet, Illicit. A slightly prolonged air of tension hung above the nervous front mans head.

His body language forced him to face his fellow members on occasion, in the hopes of spotting a crevice to alleviate the natural build-up of butterflies. Their ambient-aim however grew to successfully fumigate the initial jitters and find the self-assurance needed to take every track in stride and to walk away with heads held high.

The French five-piece may have experienced slight technical difficulties regarding sound check but found themselves in good spirits and were not long delayed before they began their technical onslaught and opened the floodgate for mini-pits throughout.

Sensible commitments to a master’s degree had left the group short of Florestan Durand who was luckily replaced by George Christie of the band, Belial who embraced the guitarist role with his own burning vivacity and ultimately filled the position well with the group and most likely would continue to impress for the remainder of the tour.

Matt’s unquestionable character in front of the audience was a highlight of their performance. Although noticeably falling out of key here and there, the professional vocal attitude that coincided neatly with his charming personality, led to older tracks such as “Twenty Years” being given a revamp of tenacious greatness.

Regrettable as it was not to see the band in full force, Silent Planet did not stay quiet for long. Garrett Russell removed his footwear in the centre of his band mates and knelt before the drum kit, ready to fall into the deep immersion of each humanitarian statement he was ready to howl out into the audience.

“Everyone needs to be equal” resonated as the bands lifeline as each of their songs intermittently made declarations towards topics such as the compulsory lack of moral fibre required to be branded a fascist fuck-wit such as Donald Trump and the larger than life refugee crisis being two of many subjects touched upon.

Mr Garrett’s brutal engagement between theme and fan were rivaled only by Thomas Freckleton’s blistering singing vocals and flexibility with assisting Alex Camarena on a second floor tomb as the band brought their set to a close.

For Today might have joined forces over a decade ago but the strength of their Christian metalcore had not faltered on its righteous path. The imperious Mattie Montgomery made his way within an inch of his worn-out flock, examining just how much they had left to give and in a loud booming voice welcomed them all to the show and announced that “I am living proof that Jesus is still in the business of saving sinners”.

“Forced Into Fire” descended over the on-lookers who became infatuated with adrenaline and began throwing shapes into thin air and other fans without a care.
Popular songs from their newest album, Wake, were also dominant in their presence including “No Truth, No Sacrifice” and the fast-paced “Broken Lens”.

The alteration in line-up for their tour seemed to be a successful move as the Leitru brothers (Ryan and Brandon) led the charge with crushing chugs and ethereal verses. As Ryan radiated pure passion from his singing, Jim Hughes set the tone as bottomless bass notes struck the stage with his mane of uncontrollable hair swaying in the amplifier output.

John Delly, a friend of the band was even pulled from the crowd mid-set and joined the group for a fraction of a song, screeching lyrics alongside Mr Montgomery, examining how he was not afraid to share the centre stage with anyone who had the capability to keep up.

Ending on their encore of “Fearless”, the fifty-odd occupants filtered into the streets with a putrid purity leaking from every follicle, ready to re-apply their sins for the next time For Today traveled through.

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