A pleasant late afternoon/evening in Stockwell, South London played host to Brutality Will Prevail’s headline show at The Grosvener. This show was scheduled to take place last year but BWP pulled out for undisclosed hangoverl related reasons. However the remaining line up played plus the addition of Cornered who ended up headlining the evening as I have been informed by those who went.
On this occasion the National Rail transport system failed me again and my arrival to the venue was rather late,as a result of this I missed Bleak Reality which is unfortunate as they are my favourite Nottingham Hardcore band with a harsh sound not dissimilar to Trapped Under Ice and Bitter End but with sufficiently melodic riffs and catchy gang vocals which ensure a good show for all. My epic odyssey through half of London and through some very gritty derelict estates in Stockwell and Lambeth meant I missed both Wayfarer and Natural Order. My knowledge of these two bands could be written on the back of a postage stamp but I was told that they performed well and despite the only real activity in the pit being from a select few, the atmosphere was that of anticipation and excitement for the following bands and of course the Cardiff City Kings themselves; Brutality Will Prevail.
There was and is some level of ambiguity towards the non-existence of Crossbreaker’s set but my friend Niall informed me that the vocalist had told the promoter Natalie that they weren’t going to be playing the show.
Next on the bill were A Long Time Dead whose set was the first of the evening to invoke real activity in the pit. Despite trying to avoid drawing obvious similarities with Rolo Tomassi on a purely superficial level on account of the vocalist being a bob-cut female, there are obvious correlations between the two bands. A Long Time Dead are much, much heavier and the venom-spat lyrics of the singer were nothing short of awesome. With beatdowns worthy of a 12Bar Rucktion show and gutteral vocals which put many vocalists to shame this band are definitely one to watch and their fusion of metal, aggressive hardcore and more technical mathy instrumentals is a force to be reckoned with.
Next on were Nottingham’s Think Twice who added stark contrast to the evening with their 90’s-esque brand of hardcore punk. As they took to the stage there was a sea of air max wearing youths who approached the stage and were soon kicked into finger pointing, lyric shouting action. Their intro brought with it an enormous side-to-side in which the entire venure was rocked. As the first lyrics were sung a swarm of fans encircled the vocalist and helped him out with every word. This band obviously captivated their fans and it was easy to see why. Their tight guitars and lightning fast vocals sounded incredible live and the crowd lost their mind. Think Twice give off the aura of an early Kids Like Us or Stick Together where there really is a sense of there not being a boundary between crowd and band and despite the angst fuelled lyrical content this band were very positive and a good time was had by all.
Abolition took to the stage. The entire London Straight Edge contingent stepped forward to see clearly their favourite band. With ex-members of IronxCurtain, Abolition definitely had the backing of the London crowd who flocked to the stage when their vocalist made various statements on a criminal injustice, racism in the UK and in fact the appraisal of Natalie Bostock for putting on this show. These speeches recieved hearty applause. The band’s performance was nothing short of impeccable and their brand of abrasive hardcore went down a treat. The truly harsh vocals were the highlight of the set and this band are definitely one to watch. They are leading the way for London Straight Edge and London in general and their success should continue to grow much like their committed fan base.
Up next were London’s metallic hardcore bastions Prowler. This band never fail to impress and their appearance was somewhat casual as tracksuits were the main component of their wardrobe which was a comic topic in itself as they commented on their lack of trendy Supreme 5 Panels and skinny jeans. Despite not appealling to the demographic entirely, this band drew a big crowd and some ruthless moshing in which grown men spin kicked mere mortals into the distance with ease. Prowler, fronted by charismatic Nathan, injected the crowd with an energy unseen by any earlier band. Their destructive riffs and sinsiterly violent vocals completed their almost perfect set.
There was an air of anticipation as whispers of Brutality Will Prevail’s presence were affirmed as their tour bus arrived and out spilled a jaded looking bunch of band members and crew who were of course met by a smattering of fans keen to show interest much at the weariness of the band who were obviously eager to taker to the stage. When they did finally start they made apologies for their lateness and after a short hiatus whilst sound was sorted and joikes were made, the band played their intro: Davidian, a Machine Head which did actually go down well despite the semi-serious sub text. They then proceeded to smash the set as kids flew across the room and were utterly transfixed by AJ, the vocalist, who has an immense presence on stage all the while fending off mic grabbers and mis-directed two steppers. The two best songs of the set in my view were ‘Sleep Paralysis’ and ‘Trapped Doors Moving Walls’, both of which got an excellent reception and saw a tirade of fans flocking to toward the stage. All in all the Cardiff boys smashed it and more than made up for their no-show at the preceding event last year. People enjoyed all of the bands but Brutality Will Prevail obviously attracted the most fans.
A massive thanks to Natalie for putting on such a diverse set.
In conclusion this was a great show.
By Theo Freedman