Alter The Press!


Review: Blackhole - Bournemouth The Gander - 22/02/09

It’s going to be a busy night for the attendees of tonight’s show at the tiny venue, The Gander, as the co-headline tour of Blackhole and Outcry Collective hit the stage (It’s more like a raised floor), with support from 4 local unsigned bands, each taking notes on the live performances to come.

Better Dressed Than Adam may seem a bit of an odd choice of opening band for Blackhole and Outcry, with their upbeat sound fusing Jack Penate’s upbeat bleating with New Found Glory’s ‘easycore’ tone which is fixtured on at the sides. I’m unsure if it was the thin crowd (which was apparent throughout the 6 band sets) or the distinct regularity of technical difficulties that fizzled out guitarist Ross Miles’ notes, but Better Dressed Than Adam didn’t seem to entice the crowd to their melodic charm. Maybe it was the embarrassing shout-out of a by-standee of “Play Slayer! Some Raining Blood!” that showed that Better Dressed Than Adam work a lot better with a crowd that will appreciate them, and one that doesn’t resemble ones that have the characteristics that are found in the crowd of a Bright Eyes concert, with their eyes fixated on the performers and bodies motionlessly still. However, vocalist Mat Byrom shouts “That was the worst gig we have ever played”, after closing the set with the ‘untitled-song-about-a-hero,-cowboy-and-others’ and the band give each other a clap for their performance. Good spirit is shown here, as the band overcomes another stage on their journey to being a bigger and better group of musicians.

And after a quick change of equipment, come the raw rock sound of Outcry Collective, the UK’s response to America’s dirty hardcore band Every Time I Die. And it is clear that the Surrey underdogs have been taking notes, revising them, and then magnifying them into their set, with comedic onstage banter and rip-roaring screams fused with strangely alluring vocals. The band even manage to get the heads bobbing as they reel into ‘New Franchise Mess’, as the stomping footwork of guitarist Christopher Phelps catches on like an infectious plague throughout the cluster of stranded people who’s emotions range from a mix of uncertainty to enjoyment, throughout the band’s set. Outcry Collective seem like a band that would suit more to a larger venue, and after a few support slots on tours with more established bands, they will be dominating those venues by themselves. With a larger crowd, of course.

What Blackhole lack in song writing and variation in their demos, that have been played to death in supporting high calibre bands in the hardcore punk scene, they make up for in stage presence. The band carries it in bucketloads, swilling at the sides, just waiting to be unleashed upon any crowd willing to give their time to them.

It’s a shame to continue a cliché of commenting on the fact that lead singer, Rick Carter, is the brother of enigmatic and energetic lead ‘singer’ of Gallows, Frank Carter, and it is one connection that I did not want to raise. However, as soon as the band take to the ‘stage’, it is evident that Rick has clearly had one-too-many Gallows gigs rubbed off on him, which has transformed him into the feral pet of his older sibling.

The band are all over the place. Not in a bad way, but in fact a great way. Rick is strutting up and down the front of the crowd, whilst both guitarists sit comfortably at the flanks of the stage, headbanging to their lashings of riffs. Blackhole simply put so much effort to make the band as involved in the audience as possible. And the ideal response happens when two individuals dash forward in an attempt to sing/scream/shout down the microphone, with quite an amused Rick Carter watching them scramble for it. All the while, over by the bar, guitarist Nick is currently perched on a table, soloing next to the merch stand as the roadies stomp to the beat, along with new fans that the band has gained throughout their set. This may not be the most professional performance, but it is one that shows great promise for the band’s future and their debut album.

Andy Touch

Alter The Press!