Review – Being As An Ocean

Date: Thursday 7th November 2019

Venue: The Key Club, Leeds

Supports: Afterlife, Novelists FR

With day one involving seeing a rising band in Fever 333 gathering huge momentum on their first UK headliner, the second of my four gigs in four days spectacle tonight was my chance to catch the already well-established Being as an Ocean playing the intimate Key Club. Having seen these guys a couple of times before I knew to expect an intense show but before we could get to that there were a couple of support bands along for the show that I hadn’t come across before to check out.

After what can only be describes as a nightmare of a journey in thanks to the storms battering Yorkshire, I finally made it into Leeds just in time to catch Afterlife taking to the stage. Bringing a metalcore/nu-metal style sitting somewhere between Limp Bizkit and I Prevail, it was interesting to hear as you don’t tend to find too many newer bands playing with that kind of sound. Alongside the incredible music coming from the stage it was clear that the band had developed a slick performance over the last year with their crowd management waking the Thursday night crowd up nicely and leaving them hanging on vocalist Tyler Levenson’s every word. Things took an even wilder tone as the band incited the first pit of the night during ‘Throat’ which seemed to come as a nice surprise to the band on stage. Switching things up with slower track ‘Broken Home’ which was dedicated to ending domestic abuse got the emotion and realism across very well and really impacted the crowd who swayed along with torches lit. Finishing off tonight with ‘Giving Back the Pain’ which had the crowd bouncing along. The track showed off Afterlife at their best with huge drums and amazing riffs combined with the great mix of vocal types. To say it was still only early the band had created a great amount of energy and warmed up the crowd nicely for the remaining two bands. Afterlife are a band that seem to have found their style and perform it very well, hopefully this tour will have helped to bring them new fans as they certainly deserve it.

Afterlife

Next up taking to the stage were tonight’s main supports Novelists FR from Paris. The band had much more of a pure metalcore sound and sounded really tight throughout the set. After coming out swinging with guitar solos and riffs galore that kicked things into high gear from the start, it was clear that this was going to be a fantastic set. Impressive vocalists seemed to be a running theme tonight with Matteo Gelsomino switching between cleans and screams throughout the tracks in a very slick manner and keeping the impressive theme across all band members. ‘The Light, The Fire’ got a great reaction and as before torches from phones filled the room with everyone getting involved. The band worked effortlessly to take the energy up a great with the front half of the crowd moving throughout the entire show while everyone else watched on in appreciation. Following their more well-known tracks the band surprised those in attendance and played a track off their unreleased album called ‘Something Else’. Despite not being yet released the track went down a treat with the crowd. I can’t wait to hear it again as part of the record when it releases next January. Continuing their impressive set the band, ‘Monochrome’ dug down on the emotional slower side of the band with Matteo taking to the crowd to really add to the intimate feel and emotion of song. After working the crowd perfectly Novelists FR finished up with top track ‘The Bitter End’. Everyone in the room was bouncing and it showed that the crowd were definitely warmed up for tonight’s headliners Being as an Ocean. A solid set from a band that has somehow eluded me over the years and definitely one that I’ll be keeping eye out for again in the future.

Novelists

With the crowd’s excitement at a fever pitch, Being as an Ocean’s surprisingly long sound check felt like it went on forever. But after a 10 minutes wait things finally kicked off with an opening interlude before the band went all guns blazing, starting off with the huge ‘Play Pretend’. As is usual at a BAAO show, vocalist Joel Quartuccio entered the crowd towards the end of the track and spent pretty much the rest of the set out there only taking short breaks back on the stage a few times during the set. The band had a nice mix across the set from their entire catalogue and it was great to hear the newer tracks get just a much of a reception as the classics. ‘Know My Name’ went down a storm and had the crowd with their arms in the air shouting along all while the pit kept things moving around Joel. New track ‘Skin’ got a fantastic reaction with the crowd slowing down to appreciate the song and the track showed the ability the band still had to write the heart wrenching tracks as well as their fuller and heavier tracks like ‘B.O.Y.’ which came as the penultimate track this evening. ‘L’exquisite Doleur’ made for a huge sing along from the crowd and as the band finished up in a brilliant way with almighty ‘This Loneliness Won’t Be the Death of Me’ they announced that rather than messing around and leaving the stage, they would just launch straight into the encore tracks.

Due to the time constraints of a weeknight gig and the extended sound check at the start, unfortunately Being as an Ocean only got one of the two planned tracks played having to forego new track A.N.I.M.O. in place of arguably their biggest song and the one that drew me into the band originally ‘The Hardest Part Is Forgetting Those You Swore You Would Never Forget’. Ending with the rousing track left the real feeling of emotion that you expect from a BAAO set and finished the night off very well – this may have been a blessing in disguise as it would be hard to follow it up with anything else. After tonight’s show it’s clear why the band have the reputation for live shows that they do with everything being heavy and intense throughout whether that’s lyrically or musically and the crowd bouncing through the whole show. Being as an Ocean are always a must see in my books and this set really cemented just why with the band not putting a foot wrong throughout. A special mention must be given before I finish this to guitarist and clean vocalist Michael McGough who put in an incredible performance throughout the night and really brought everything together perfectly.

Being As An Ocean

Review – Mallory Knox (Farewell Show)

Date: Sunday 6th October 2019

Venue: The Key Club, Leeds

Supports: Kill the Silence, Led By Lanterns

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Farewell tours are always a weird kind of show as there’s a balance of being sad that a band is playing for the last time but also happy that you can celebrate it one last time. With the rain seeming to be constantly pouring outside it took care of the sad atmosphere as upon stepping foot into The Key Club it was clear that this was a celebration of everything the band had achieved over the last 10 Years.

Tonight’s Opening band were local lads Kill the Silence. Due to having some prior commitments I only managed to catch the last two songs from the set. Being somewhere between Post Hardcore and Alternative Rock, the band really had an interesting sound which seemed to bounce between. Having played one of the dates on the Press to MECO tour as well earlier in the week, I’m sure these guys will be popping up more on my radar. The fairly large crowd that were in the room when I arrived was a very promising sign. Whilst the crowd weren’t quite ready to start moshing yet, the energy was definitely building and with a play through of newer track ‘All We Are’ you could tell that people were definitely singing along. With only having two tracks that I saw it’s hard to make up my mind on this band so I guess I’ll just have to see them again before I make my decision. After tonight’s introduction though things seem very positive.

Following on from Kill the Silence were upcoming Alt Rockers Led by Lanterns. Having not listened to the band before their set but hearing glowing reviews I was excited to see what was going to come out of these guys. I definitely wasn’t left disappointed as the band opened up with ‘Smoke Screen’ which instantly brought up the energy in the room. With a little bit of work through the track by the end the crowd were very much involved and had woken up. To introduce themselves to the majority of the crowd who hadn’t heard them before they pulled out a cover for everyone to sing along to. In a twist that I wasn’t expecting they took a poppier turn and covered ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa however they still managed to build on the energy and the crowd started to dance and sing along much more freely. Later track ‘Composure’ really showed the incredible vocals from front man Shaun as he captivated the room throughout the track. The entire band exuded energy on that stage with a special mention needed for drummer who took every opportunity to stand up and sing along with the crowd all whilst playing a solid set. With a small pit breaking out in the crowd during final track ‘Alive’ Led by Lanterns had definitely done their job of warming up tonight crowd. Definitely one a and that ill be listening to after the show and possibly even the band to fill the space that Mallory Knox will be leaving in the scene after this tour is up.

Led By Lanterns

As ‘The Final Countdown’ came through the speakers it was time for Mallory Knox to take to the stage. It was a nice touch for the band and really helped to set the tone for the rest of the set that the band were here to have fun and celebrate their work. In a time when it seems that a lot of main stay bands are calling it quits it seems all the more important that after all the issues that Mallory Knox have overcome they are very much doing this on their own terms. Tonight celebration kicked off with newer track ‘Sugar’ and the crowd wasted no time in bouncing along despite the track being one of the bands newer releases. With a set list spanning  the last ten years including everything from the first song written for the band ‘Oceans’ all the way through to tracks from the newest album such as ‘White Lies’ there really was time for a bit of everything this evening. It was great to see the crowd give the same reaction to all tracks and really showed that the band had a core of very dedicated fans here tonight to see them off. Pulling out all the big hits in their set, the band played faultlessly with everything sounded impeccable. After having to take a break and rest for a few shows last week there was a concern that Sam’s vocals may have suffered, however this was not the case and as the band played through ‘Beggars’ it was clear that the rest had helped.

As the set drew to closer to an end the band thanked Leeds for its impact on their career and mentioning all the venues that they had played in the city over the years, from The Cockpit when they were first starting out all the way to the Main stage of Leeds Festival. With the thanks out of the way it was time to go out in style and what better way to do that than to play through three of the bands biggest track. Starting out with my personal favourite track ‘Wake Up’ this really capitalised on the energy in the room and everyone was screaming the words along. Following on from this the band launched straight into the anthemic ‘Lighthouse’. As the chorus rang out it was clear to feel the unity in the room and the fact that no one was stood still (including the band) really built everything to a fever pitch. After one final round of thanks and no need to do an Encore the band finished tonight with ‘Better Off Without You’. I’m sure this was 100% planned when they were writing the set list but I can confirm that we are not better off without Mallory Knox and it really is a shame to see them call it a day. Tonight however, was a fantastic send off and from the crowd as they were leaving The Key Club its one that a lot won’t be forgetting soon. As one final sentence to finish the review all I have to say is Thanks for everything over the last 10 years and RIP Mallory Knox!

Mallory Knox