Friday, 24 January 2014

LIVE: Defeater

The Fleece seems a lot bigger than it actually is. Situated down some slightly dingy Bristol backstreet there already seems to be hundreds of people occupying the floor for the opening act, Goodtime Boys. The only other time I've seen them before was when they supported Pianos Become The Teeth at Reading Facebar. They got pretty pissy because I was using flash - I admit it can be annoying but there are better ways of going about asking people not to use it - and they were angry at the only guy moving during their set. They basically came across as some pretentious morons, and luckily they don't have time to talk this time, so they just seem to be a poor-man's Touché Amoré - which isn't entirely bad.

Next up was More Than Life playing a hometown show, and the crowd are definitely up for it. Clambering up the poles that that hold up the roof, throwing themselves into the crowd off the barrier - with only half-hearted attempts to catch them. Alas, I left my earplugs at university and the ones I had to buy (£1 for some disposable foam ones!) were awful, so I spent most of the time browsing my phone rather than properly listening. They're not actually meant to block all the noise.

My brother has been raving about Caspian for weeks, although I did try to put it in his head that they may not be the same Caspian due to the fact they seem a bit of an odd choice for a line-up like this. However, they were, and they were fantastic. I'm not sure what it is about post-rock bands but they know how to put on a show; there's something about energetic headbanging which doubles your performance.

Finally Defeater arrive with Derek Archambault's declaration to please not touch him, down to his necrosis within his hip. Even that can't kill the energy within the room though, right from the first frantic seconds of 'Bastards' the room is absolutely mental. The only slight respite is a couple of songs solo from Derek. However what 'I Don't Mind' lacks in aggression it certainly makes up for in emotion. Finishing off with 'Cowardice', screaming "I am no-one, and I am nothing" is heart wrenching.

The passion from the record translates into the live environment as well as you would expect any hardcore band to, but the lyrics and the connection that they manage to explicit from people really does make going to a Defeater show something special.

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