This is my last gig of 2018 (maybe) so Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.
I had been looking forward to this evening. I saw “Stick to your Guns” (STYG) about two years ago supporting “Architects” at Brixton O2. They had strong stage presence and got a lively reception from the early evening audience on that occasion. I was hopeful of another energy packed evening.
It has to be said that we weren’t to be disappointed. The Dome is a good medium sized venue and with a new PA and stage this year really packs a punch. So it was well suited to the music on offer which was pretty hardcore. The audience were happy to match the bands energy levels and I can’t think of another gig I’ve been to, where the relatively young audience, gave all three bands 100% participation.
STYG were playing two nights and the second took place downstairs on the smaller stage. My eldest son went to the second night so I have included a couple of crowd pictures which I think were representative of the pandemonium on both nights. It certainly wasn’t a country for old men so I stayed to the side and was just was amazed no one was seriously hurt as people literally somersaulted into the assembled punters.
At the end of the gig as the crowd dispersed a very slippery floor emerged. Glad I didn’t have to sort that mess out.
Anyway back to the show. First band were “Employed to Serve” who set the tone swearing at the crowd to join in. Lead by a female vocalist, which is a bit unusual for this genre of music they played full throttle for 30 minutes. A UK band, the vocalist growls and screams with the best of them as they smashed through the songs. No change of texture here and even though I had done a bit of research I didn’t recognise any songs specifically. But I’m not sure that’s the point. It’s just a wave of aggression washing over you and taking you in. I bought a T shirt on the strength of the performance, possibly because few people will know who they are and I like to support what is clearly a young and up and coming band.
Next band were “Counterparts “who had a bigger following at the Dome. The crowd really got into full enjoyment mode with numerous crowd surfers clambering on stage to throw themselves back into hopefully the supportive arms of their fellow gig goers. Hailing from Ontario they are a mature sounding band both the musically and age wise (formed in 2007). Categorised as melodic hardcore in the live setting again it was full on thrash from start to finish. From a historical point of view the lead singer is the only original band member left, apropos nothing, although these heavier bands do seem to go through quite a few changes.
Set List (courtesy of Setlist.fm
- No Servant of Mine
- Swim Beneath My Skin
- You’re Not You Anymore
- The Disconnect
After another quick changeover STYG were up and running and again didn’t disappoint. There was a bit of banter between songs. At one point vocalist Jesse Barnett started a bit of a political diatribe on the state of the world and politics. When he said that he was aware of what was going on in the UK a spontaneous chorus of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” started up. It was quite funny. STYG are a band that have a strong political stance, which is the subject of most of their material. At one point Jesse said that we do this for the love because we don’t make much money. I’m sure that’s true and at this point in their career they are unlikely to make a big breakthrough having formed way back in 2003. They sing about uncomfortable truths with a political or social message.
Not sure how long they played but they left without encore after a very energetic set with almost 50% of songs from the last album “True View” which I recognised but the remainder were die-hard fan pleasers from back in the day.
Great night out and felt suitably cleansed after having my eardrums battered for over two hours in total.
Set list (courtesy of Setlist.fm)