Fun evening all round!
The Qemists plus Zoax, Rory Indiana and Seething Akira
Venue: Concorde 2, Brighton
Date: 4th March 2016
The Qemists have only just released their third album ‘Warrior Sound’, so, what better way is there to celebrate than to have a hometown launch party on the day of release?
Well, it felt like a miniature Breakout Festival considering The Qemists were joined by Zoax and Seething Akira, who played at the Brighton festival with them last September. Also, on the bill were local darlings, Rory Indiana.
Seething Akira kicked the night off very early, shortly after the 6 pm doors. The Portsmouth lads sadly had a really small crowd to perform to, it seemed like not many people got the memo on the gig’s early start. Seething Akira opened with a fan favourite ‘Retaliate’ and almost all was forgotten about how small the crowd was. It was like an intimate party that everyone seemed to enjoy; all of the early attendees were banging their head and dancing to the Enter Shikari-esque dance rock. Every time we’ve managed to catch Seething Akira, it has been full on party vibes and nothing changed here – vocalist Charlie Bowes even came out into the crowd to have a mosh and join in on the wall of death. We were treated to a new song from an album due possibly later this year (more on that when the information is there), before the Portsmouth rave-rockers had us clapping, waving our hands and singing along to ‘Air Strike’. It was another great set from these lads, it’s a guaranteed fun time when Seething Akira are around.
Local lads Rory Indiana followed up by unleashing a barrage of heavy riffs and a hard rock attitude before setting on a path of epic rock ballads for the majority of their set. It seemed like a strange way to follow the party vibes of Seething Akira, but the Brighton lads are incredibly popular locally and drew in a much larger crowd. The main difference was how stagnant the audience was. You could look around and see a few heads banging to the impressively intricate heavy segments, but there was little reaction from the crowd apart from at the end of the songs, which involved cheering and clapping to show some appreciation. I sensed influence from the likes of Muse in the captivating opera-rock style instrumental interludes; one minute you were swaying with the softer melodies and the next, banging your head to the crushing riffs. It was nicely balanced, especially in ‘Leave Me’. Musically, Rory Indiana were very impressive and it is easy to see that this band are going places.
The incredibly entertaining alt-rockers Zoax were up to their usual shenanigans of performing ear drum shattering heavy music with a comedic twist. The London band unleashed popular tracks ‘Jekyll Meets Hyde’ and ‘Zero Point Seven’ and the atmosphere in the room turned electric. Vocalist Adam Carroll, with his thick Irish accent, had everyone in the Concorde 2 eating out of the palm of his hands, not literally but I wouldn’t put it past him to try. During every song, Carroll would pull a funny face at someone taking a picture, say random things in between lyrics and would just act in a way that put smiles on spectators faces. The frontman kept the audience attentive by joining them in the pits and jumping around with the punters. The room was full of energy; from the moshers in the crowd to the members on the stage – bassist Joe Copcutt was dancing around the stage and jumping around like a madman. It remained a joy to watch these guys again as we heard new song ‘Bad Blood‘, Zoax always deliver a fun yet brutal environment.
The weirdest feeling about this gig was that it was only 8:45 pm and our headliners, The Qemists were already hitting the stage. The bass was so loud that it rumbled through your legs as the Brighton rave-rockers opened with the intro piece ‘Our World’ and then ‘Jungle’ as the first two tracks from The Qemists‘ newly released ‘Warrior Sound’ album. From the moment the set started, the venue was bouncing relentlessly and it didn’t stop once. The Brighton lads treated the now very packed venue to a lot of material from ‘Warrior Sound’, including ‘Run You’ and the album’s title track. Every song created positive party vibes, everyone was jumping and dancing. I have never seen the Concorde 2 full of so much energy before.
The Qemists announced they will be joining Enter Shikari on a tour soon, so to celebrate that, the rave-rockers performed ‘Take It Back’, a song the two bands recorded together. The Brighton lads unleashed classics like ‘Renegade’ and ‘Stompbox’, which only increased excitement in the crowd. Vocalist Bruno Balanta even decided to stage dive and crowd surf over the top of the bouncing audience. It was an incredible party for The Qemists to unveil their new album for everyone at a venue the Brighton lads have been performing regularly over the last ten years. Every band played a great set and it was an all round awesome evening.