Live Reviews

From Grace – Live

Chinese Finger Trap
London Fly Bar

Outside the Fly Bar this evening is a cluster of disappointed kids, who have been refused entry due to not having adequate ID. It’s an unfair situation; not just for the kids themselves, but also for the bands playing here, who would no doubt have been glad for the extra support.

High time for a shake-up of the licensing laws, methinks. Still, the Chinese Finger Trap guys don’t seem too bothered about the small turn-out as they rip through their Blood Brothers-esque twisted hardcore with an impressive disregard for the size of the tiny stage, and each other’s safety.

The room fills up considerably in time for Shellshock‘s set, and with good reason too. Drum n’ bass and metal influences may not be the most likely of bedfellows, but this London quartet mix them inventively and fluidly, in a manner arguably not heard since Pitchshifter unleashed their ‘‘ album on us nearly a decade ago. The result sounds not unlike Asian Dub Foundation playing death metal, with razor-sharp riffs, scattershot beats and punishing vocals flying in every direction. Thrilling stuff.

From Grace may be disappointed for their underage fans, but their onstage enthusiasm certainly hasn’t suffered as a result. Barely a few seconds into the opening shred-fest that is ‘Rise Again‘, vocalist Alex Augustyn has already launched himself into the midst of the small but frenetic moshpit, where he remains for most of the set. Songs like ‘Streets Of Rage‘ and ‘Blood Of My Blood‘ take on a new urgency and brutal edge tonight; not least due to a devoted crowd that clearly know every single word, and are not afraid to prove it.

It may be early days for these Bromley boys, but when witnessing such a loyal following as theirs, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this could be the start of something special. Overall, tonight is a potent reminder of just how much the UK’s underground metal and hardcore scenes have to offer.

Alex Gosman