Live Reviews Music

Straight Lines live at Face Bar, Reading

w/ Evarose, Streetfight Silence, Ascent
Face Bar, Reading
13th October 2012

With arguably a decline in show attendance in the scene at the moment, smaller scale gigs are always going to suffer on an absolutely miserable Saturday night. It seems that the temptation not to venture out in the torrential rain to Reading’s Face Bar was too strong for many as Ascent open up to a grand total of five people. A few more dawdle through the door mid-set but there is a large void in the centre of the room as punters head to the bar rather than appreciate the performance in front of them.

Its really disheartening to see a band play to so few people especially when they are actually pretty decent. Reminiscent of Francesqa, the Newbury based band certainly have a great level of musicianship. The gritty and slightly unclean vocals would set them apart from their peers, if there were people to listen…

Next on are local-ish Streetfight Silence, their presence has an immediate impact as a fair number gather around the stage to engage with their You Me At Six/Lower Than Atlantis inspired pop-punk. ‘We Must All Learn’ is a polished rock song and forthcoming single ‘Low’ is instantly appealing with a dirty, chugging baseline and catchy chorus. By upping the tempo the band captivate the small crowd in what can only be seen as a success in tough circumstances.

The first of the touring bands to perform is Evarose. By being and all girl quartet the group are already standing out from the others, but if you let the music do the talking rather than appearance, they are not so different; its fairly standard pop-rock. Their sound is solid, there are a number of tracks that are pretty good but unfortunately its nothing astounding. However what is impressive is vocalist Dannika Webber and bassist Connie Raitt doing their up-most to hype up a dull audience and their enthusiasm is refreshing. It must also be noted that Robyn Griffith offers some unique fills behind the kit making Evarose sound stronger as a unit.

Headline act Straight Lines have an individual tone to their music; slightly jangled guitars and jerky riffs allow them to be comparable to rock outfits such as The Xcerts, Tiger Please and Max Raptor. Front man Thomas Jenkins is a typically friendly and upbeat Welsh-man attempting charismatic chat between songs. Displaying flashes of humor such as greeting the audience with ‘Hello Reading Festival!’ is an endearing quality of the band.

Although there is little movement in the audience, it’d be fair to say that Straight Lines have a successful night in Reading. By mid set they are playing to a reasonably full room who seem to be fully appreciating the music, but just in a stand-there-smile-and-rock-your-head kind of way. The performance reaches its highlight towards the end when ‘Ring The Bell’ and ‘Commitments’ (taken from the band’s latest release ‘Freaks Like Us’) demonstrate Straight Line’s talent in song-writing through their attentive ear for melody. Straight Lines are a band full of promise, their dedication to touring the circuit gives them much credibility. Lets hope their commitment sees them rise up the ranks like they deserve to.

Words: Emma Wallace

Features Music

Must See Shows: October 2012

w/Devil Wears Prada
18 – NOTTINGHAM Rock City, 19 – GLASGOW Garage, 20 – WOLVERHAMPTON Wulfrun Hall, 21 – MANCHESTER Ritz, 22 – BRISTOL Academy, 23 – LONDON Electric Ballroom

For metalcore fans, this is quite clearly a phenomenal tour, not just for October, but for the whole year. Expect plenty of breakdowns, brutal mosh pits and many a sub-drop. Listen to ‘Meddler’ by August Burns Red and you’ll know exactly what we mean.

w/Stray From The Path, Last Witness
24 – SOUTHAMPTON Brook, 25 – BRISTOL Fleece, 26 – PLYMOUTH White Rabbit, 27 – BRIGHTON Haunt, 28 – CARDIFF Solus, 29 – LONDON Electric Ballroom, 30 – WOLVERHAMPTON Slade Rooms, 31 – MANCHESTER Academy II

Band after band said that Every Time I Die nailed it nightly on the US Warped Tour, and now over on our shores we are expecting exactly the same amount of carnage. With ETID being joined by Stray From The Path (who you might have caught with Architects earlier this year) and homegrown talent Last Witness this is a very healthy looking line up.

w/Feed The Rhino
03 – BRIGHTON Haunt, 04 – EXETER Cavern, 05 – BRISTOL The Fleece, 06 – MANCHESTER Club Academy, 08 – NEWCASTLE Academy 2, 09 – GLASGOW King Tut’s, 11 – NOTTINGHAM – Rock City Basement, 12 – SHEFFIELD Corporation, 13 – STOKE Sugarmill, 14 – WREXHAM Central Station, 15 – LEEDS Cockpit, 16 – PETERBOROUGH Club Revolution, 17 – BIRMINGHAM Academy 2, 19 – LONDON Underworld

Their latest release received critical acclaim across the board, and now with intense front man Wade Macneil at the helm and Feed The Rhino as support, this isn’t just a must see show but a ‘you’d-be-really-fucking-stupid-not-to-go’ kind of show.

17 – DERBY Victoria Inn, 18 – GLASGOW Ivory Blacks, 19 – MANCHESTER Star & Garter, 20 – LIVERPOOL Format, 22 – LONDON Upstairs at the Garage, 23 – SOUTHAMPTON Cellar,24 – PLYMOUTH White Rabbit, 26 – PETERBOROUGH Met Lounge

We’ve noted Hildamay as ones to watch for some time now, and with a full UK tour to support their forthcoming album, hopefully this will be their time to shine. With Landscapes also on the bill this will be an awesome showcasing event for British talent as hardcore doesn’t get much more emotional and bleak than the way Landscapes go about it.

w/ We Came As Romans, BlessTheFall, Stick To Your Guns, For The Fallen Dreams, Obey The Brave, At The Skylines, The Browning, At Dawn We Rage
15 – UK Birmingham, O2 Academy 2, 17 – UK Manchester, Club Academy, 18 – UK London, The Electric Ballroom

Never Say Die Tours are always great but this year it features two of our favorite artists, Stick To Your Guns and Obey The Brave. Stick To Your Guns put on a hard hitting yet optimistic live show and Obey The Brave are sure to slay with their brutally heavy riffs.

11 – BUCKS Uni SU

If you are a regular reader of Crossfire you’ll know that we rate Proxies very highly indeed. Catch them at their live show to find out what all the fuss is about.

w/ Memphis May Fire, Secrets
08 – NORWICH Waterfront, 10 – LONDON Electric Ballroom, 11 – GLASGOW Garage, 12 – MANCHESTER Moho Live, 13 – BIRMINGHAM Asylum, 14 – LEEDS Cockpit

Of Mice & Men are the buzz band of metalcore right now. Not only due to their ridiculously strong re-release of ‘The Flood’ which featured 4 astounding bonus tracks, but due to the fact that Austin Carlile and his band mates seem to fully engage with their fans.

01 – BIRMINGHAM Rainbow, 02 – NORWICH Waterfront, 04 – KINGSTON New Slang, 05 – BRIGHTON Hydrant, 06 – SOUTHAMPTON Joiners, 07 – EXETER Cavern, 10 – BRISTOL Thekla, 11 – OXFORD Jericho, 12 – MILTON KEYNES Craufurd Arms, 13 – READING Face Bar, 15 – LONDON Barfly, 16 – CARDIFF CF10

After releasing their second (and awesome) album, ‘Freaks Like Us’ earlier this year, check out Straight Lines as they embark on an expansive UK tour.

01 – EXETER Pheonix, 02 – SOUTHAMPTON Mo’Club, 03 – BRISTOL Trinity, 04 – NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms, 05 – GLASGOW Garage, 07 – MANCHESTER Club Academy, 08 – NORWICH Arts Centre, 09 – BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy 2, 10 – LEEDS Cockpit, 11 – LONDON Electric Ballroom, 12 – KINGSTON Fighting Cocks

After releasing one of the albums of 2011 in ‘War Paint’, The Dangerous Summer have become firm favorites at Crossfire HQ. This October they are hitting the road with another of our loves, Don Broco.

15 – LONDON O2 Brixton Academy, 17 – LONDON O2 Brixton Academy, 18 – MANCHESTER O2 Apollo, 19 – GLASGOW O2 Academy, 20 – BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy

It appears everyone has a place for The Gaslight Anthem in their hearts, and rightly so. After a releasing another timeless album ‘Handwritten’ and performing a euphoric set at Reading & Leeds, The Gaslight Anthem are ready to take full control of the UK.

w/ As I Lay Dying
15 – MANCHESTER Ritz, 16 – GLASGOW O2 ABC, 17 – BIRMINGHAM HMV Institute, 19 – BRISTOL O2 Academy, 20 – NORWICH UEA, 21 – LONDON Shepherds Bush Empire

A titan of modern metal, Trivium, joined by one of the godfathers of metalcore, As I Lay Dying, in arguably intimately sized venues… this is going to be amazing.