BAR ACADEMY, ISLINGTON
If only one sad fact springs to mind upon entering the dingy surroundings of the Bar Academy this evening, it’s that Vanity Fair is no longer a mere magazine title. There’s barely a hair out of place or a cigarette in flame but there’s no end of hot air, something made painfully clear as one wafer thin punter declares triumphantly that he no longer requires clothes any larger than a youth size large. You heard it here first – anorexia is definitely in this summer.
Clambering onstage in a pair of scandalously tiny shorts that wouldn’t appear out of place in a 1980’s P.E. lesson at Grange Hill, Bring Me The Horizon front man Ollie Sykes is to say the least an unlikely ringleader for such occasions. Underpant linings aside, he’ll spend much of tonight’s horrendously short set surfing the barrier and swinging from the ceiling like an electrified monkey, bellowing out the likes of the brilliantly titled ‘Rawwwrr!’ until his eyes bulge. Between songs he cuts a much more chilled out and at times almost charming figure, cracking jokes and apologising in vain for his striking choice of attire; but it’s the final stages of send-off cut ‘Re: They Have No Reflection’ which provide arguably the biggest rib-tickling of the night.
Splitting the crowd in two as his band prepare to thunder into the track’s devastating closing breakdown, Sykes places his foot upon the monitors and prepares to usher in the countdown to chaos. “Who here knows what a ho-down is?” he asks, grinning as his band mates shuffle around the stage and produce a 1950’s rock and roll ditty that reduces the venue to a cauldron of laughter and bemusement. Seconds later it’s business as usual, the moment of brutality arriving with such ferocity that one fan is catapulted towards the stage with bullish force; his flailing limbs clattering the lighting rig before landing in a heap on the stage.
Whether Bring Me The Horizon have what it takes to outlast a dying scene in which they’re evidently so revered remains to be seen, but tonight they’ve produced more than enough reason the keep the fringe from your eyes.