Around a year ago I first discovered Fort Hope on tour with Hands Like Houses (and I think Bury Tomorrow) at Koko in Camden, London. Fast forward to last night and, once again in Camden, my love for the band and live music in general was reaffirmed as they headlined The Underworld alongside Ashestoangels and Tigress.
These three bands showcase what’s so great about seeing bands play live, and the importance of supporting up-and-coming bands. I also saw one of the most fantastic, humbling moments I’ve ever seen during a gig.
Essex-based Tigress opened up the evening with the fantastic Kate Jackson on fire, belting out their awesome brand of singalong rock with tunes like upcoming new single Power Lines and the excellent Future. If you haven’t heard them then I wholly recommend you take a listen as Jackson’s voice is amazing.
Next up was Bristol’s Ashestoangels, who were so keen to get on with it that they began playing 10 minutes before their set was due to start. It began with enigmatic lead singer Crilly proclaiming “Let’s engage the rage” and embarked on 40 minutes of punk meets goth meets rock brilliance – which has more than a little of a British version of Aiden about it.
They’re a great live band, with fun singalong tracks and moments of real heaviness – which is when, for me personally, they’re at their best – as portrayed by tracks like Find Hell, from this year’s album How To Bleed, and Six Six Six. The band is also great at audience involvement and clearly has a close affinity with their fans, with moments like Crilly shouting “When this kicks in I need a scream.”
But my favourite moment was during The Ghost In The Machine, when Crilly took a step back, encouraged the audience to get involved and everyone sang along with the band. Crilly turned to the rest of the band and there was clearly a moment of excitement that so many people knew the words to their song. I’ve always wondered what it must be like for a band to experience people singing along to something they’ve written, but in this pretty special moment I realised – and it was beautiful.
The band’s reaction to the fans was fantastic, and Crilly went on to say: “If you weren’t here we’d be playing alone, and I ever wanted was to play music to some people” and later told the crowd “This might be one of my favourite shows ever.”
The energy of Ashestoangels made this one of my favourite shows I’ve been to, and that was before the main event turned up to make it even better.
Hertfordshire’s Fort Hope were the final act and opened up in style with the brilliant new single Say No, which is still stuck in my head now writing this the next morning. They also gave us a first listen to some of their new material, which apparently they have loads of – so watch out because it’s awesome! Their upcoming EP A r m u r e is available on pre-sale now here, and I can’t wait to have a listen.
Particular highlights from their set were That’s The Way The River Flows and my personal favourite Fort Hope track Skies, which was simply superb live. Their recorded music is great, but they’re even better live and Jon Gaskin’s voice is amazing, so I wholly recommend you get out there and see them perform.
Ashestoangels are playing at Underworld again tonight, in a sold out gig alongside Fearless Vampire Killers and Zoax, then they’re playing at The Louisiana in Bristol on 15th December (tickets here). And Tigress will be back in Camden playing at Proud Gallery on 12th December, and tickets are available for a few pence over a fiver here.