Last night I had the pleasure of going to Manchester to see this show. I have to be honest and say that I wasn't overly familiar with Eva Plays Dead or Devilskin. I was there primarily for Sumo Cyco, as I bought their debut album Lost In Cyco City a while ago and loved it, so last night was finally my chance to get to see them play live.
As always, I should apologise for the shit quality of my photos. I took them on my phone, and these were the best ones. Oh well...
First up was the Derby/Notts based Eva Plays Dead. They're a tight band, full of energy, and engaged with the crowd really well. They reminded me a bit of Marmozets in places, and had the occasional heavy grooving riff that would be at home on a Raging Speedhorn album. Definitely a band worth checking out!
Next up were Canadian Punk Rock band Sumo Cyco. This was their sixth UK tour, and I'm ashamed to say that I hadn't seen them live before. It was clear that their repeat returns to the UK had paid dividends, as there were plenty of people there who were already fans and sang every word with enthusiasm. The band were teaming with energy and their love for what they do was reciprocated by their audience, keen to participate at any opportunity. Lead singer Sever (AKA Skye Sweetnam) was on fire, and jumped into the crowd on several occasions only to emerge on someone's shoulders, or re-appear at the side of the stage, all without missing a note. This is definitely a band that has mastered their live performance and makes the most of every show.
They played all of my favourite songs, including the new singles Anti-Anthem and Move Mountains, as well as amazing tracks from their debut such as The Ugly and the ridiculously catchy set closer Fighter. This band is in their prime and 100% on top of their game. Now is a great time to go and see them before they become massive, so don't miss out.
Closing the show tonight was New Zealand's Devilskin. I was new to the band, but judging from the number of people in the audience wearing Devilskin T-shirts, I was clearly in the minority here. Musically, they come across as a mix of Halestorm and Pantera, with their songs morphing with ease between uplifting melodic Hard Rock and slamming Metal riffs. Some of their tunes have a distinctive 90's Heavy Grunge vibe about them, reminiscent of early Alice in Chains and Gruntruck. They're kinda cool, and I'll definitely be having a listen to their new album in the near future.
What I think is really important here is that both Devilskin and Sumo Cyco have travelled half way round the world to do this tour of the UK. The venues are small, and neither band is huge over here yet, so they can't be making a great deal of money from these shows. I just want to acknowledge the sheer awesomeness of bands on this level making the effort to play this far from home giving fans across the world the chance to see them at this stage in their careers. It's a huge achievement and both of these bands are an inspiration to young artists who really want to do something in music. I'm sure one day they'll both return as much bigger bands, and people will have wished they'd seen them on this tour.