Sunday 17 December 2017

Gig Review: HIM & Biters at The Academy, Manchester (UK) 16/12/2017

Earlier this year, Goths across the world went into mourning as HIM announced that they were going to call it a day. I've been a massive fan since their Razorblade Romance album came out, which is one of my favourite records of all time, so I was upset to hear the news. The silver lining in this black cloud was that they announced a farewell tour. I booked my tickets straight away, which was a wise move, as all of the UK dates sold out very quickly.

I arrived nice and early to catch the support band, retro-rockers Biters (see my review of their album here), and I'm really glad that I braved the long queue in the freezing cold to make sure I didn't miss their set.

They were really impressive live, and enjoyed plenty of banter with the crowd as they tore through a good selection of their repertoire. Their single Stone Cold Love went down particulary well with the audience, indicating that a lot of people had checked them out on YouTube before the show. Overall, they were well recieved, and I'm sure they left the stage having made many new fans. I'd definitely go to see them again.
Biters in Manchester 2017
After Biters, I went to check out the merch stall. I know T-Shirts are generally expensive at shows like this, but fuck me sideways! HIM T-Shirts were £30, except the women's skinny ones which were £35. Hoodie's requried one kidney and a remortgage. I can feel my colon tightening up at the mere memory of such prices!

I currently have my right arm in plaster due to a broken wrist. Being the wily motherfucker I am, I managed to use my unfortunate injury to my advantage and blag my way onto the upstairs balcony with the disabled fans. I enjoyed a fantastic view, and didn't have to worry about twats bashing into me every five minutes.

HIM hit the stage and opened up with Buried Alive By Love, which went down a storm. In fact, every song thereafter went down a storm, and the devoted crowd sang along to every word. The beauty of a farewell tour is that the show was effectively a greatest hits set. Every song a fan would expect to hear was present, including my personal favourites Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly, Your Sweet Six Six Six, Heartkiller, and Killing Loneliness. In fairness, I love all of their songs, and I thought that the 19 song set-list was perfect. It was followed by an encore of a cover of Billy Idol's Rebel Yell (easily one of the best songs on the planet), and When Love And Death Embrace

I've seen them several times before, but not for a few years. Tonight's performance was one of the best. I'm gutted to say goodbye to HIM, but I'm sure Ville Valo and the others will be back with new projects in the near future, and I'm looking forward to hearing what they do next immensely.

I even managed to get myself an awesome unofficial HIM T-Shirt from some dodgy pirate outside the venue for a tenner!

HIM in Manchester 2017
HIM in Manchester 2017
HIM in Manchester 2017

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