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Review: Kerrang! Tour 2013, Newcastle O2 Academy

WRITING music beyond their years and acutely aware of what it means to entertain, Fearless Vampire Killers have got it cracked.

WRITING music beyond their years and acutely aware of what it means to entertain, Fearless Vampire Killers have got it cracked.

Of all four bands on an eclectic bill, FVK surely have the brightest future.

With their Victorian clobber and boyband looks they offer a visual treat for the impressionable teen market.

However, it’s not just the girls in the audience who warm to Laurence Beveridge and his buddies – their dads can spot something of their classic rock heroes in FVK’s pomp, passion and songwriting prowess.

And it’s that universal appeal – coupled with FVK’s well-publicised multi-media approach – that means this band has the potential to outlast its peers.

Tonight Alive are polar opposites, battling genre prejudices and severely limited in terms of artistic reach.

Identikit female-fronted pop punk acts exist the world over so why should these Aussie upstarts reach the next level?

The answer lies in the band’s natural charm and ear for a rock ’n’ roll tune. Singer Jenna McDougall blew away the Academy cobwebs like a blonde Joan Jett and it was clear just how much this showcase meant to the fiercely ambitious frontwoman.

Chiodos bring the noise to the tour and with Craig Owens back at the helm a cacophony of hardcore hell shook those present to their bones.

But for all their ferocity there was a sense of failure about the Michigan troupe as the final notes rang out.

Chiodos looked like the perfect pick on paper but even amps turned up to 11 couldn’t mask the frailties of a band still learning to bond again.

How strong is the bond between members of the Black Veil Brides is unclear.

Immediately after a typically feisty performance from Andy Biersack, the colourful singer could be found stalking the darkened corridors of a fast-emptying Academy complaining about the state of his dressing room and some mystery disturbance.

Band mates drifted apart leaving the Brides’ support acts to jam the night away.

On stage togetherness did prevail. The Brides perform with unnerving efficiency and sheer professionalism was the order of the day as the headline act diligently earned its corn.

Simon Rushworth


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