Currently on tour are in the UK are rising hardcore entrepreneurs Counterparts and on the road with them are Senses Fail and Capsize. We sent Lucas down to Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff to check out three bands that have all made a serious name for themselves in different ways, enjoy:
To open proceedings, up-step relative newcomers Capsize. Making a name for themselves by consistently touring Europe and America alongside a plethora of established bands, it's easy to see these lads have definitely cut their teeth on the road, despite only being one album into their career.
No local support for this show meant that they had they had a fairly tough job, but as they kicked into the second song of the set, fan-favourite 'Calming, Crippling', the crowd was in the palm of their hand. It's easy to see why this band are fast becoming one of the bigger cult bands in the melodic hardcore scene at the moment. (7/10)
7 albums into their career and the band had a chunky setlist full of mismatched songs that seemed to go down well... Extremely well to some of the more die hard fans who sung along to every word. On the whole, it's an unquestionable truth that Senses Fail were the most championed and important band on the bill tonight, but were a little bit out of their comfort zone. I urge anybody to check them out at a show of their own though, as I can only imagine how good this band would be playing to their own fans. (6/10)
Finally, the band everybody in the building had been waiting for. It's been two and half years since Counterparts took to the stage at Clwb Ifor Bach, or even made a re-appearance in our country for that matter, since touring with Your Demise and Heights back in February 2013. In the meantime they have released what are arguably the best 2 albums of their career and toured the US, Europe and Canada relentlessly with the likes of Every Time I Die, August Burns Red and Architects. Cardiff fans have missed out on the best two years of this bands career, so they have a lot to prove tonight.
Beginning the set with the opening two songs off new album 'Tragedy Will Find Us', 'Stillborn' & 'Thread' and the audience are completely comfortable from the get-go. For a band like Counterparts, with an extensive back catalogue full of everything from successful singles to more cult favourites, you would assume they'd struggle to pick a perfect setlist for the show, but as they kick in with 3 songs from 'The Difference Between Hell And Home' (Ghost, Debris and Outlier) and then move swiftly onto 'Only Anchors' from their first album, the band have unquestionably ticked the box so far for every member of the audience.
Moving onto a few of their heavier tracks (Slave, Stranger and Choke) and then their 3 bigger singles 'Collapse', 'The Disconnect' and 'Burn' it's easy to see that this band are one of the most polished in modern hardcore. Frontman Brendan Murphy is as humble and relatable as he is vicious and enigmatic, and the band as a unit are impeccably tight with one another. Looking around at the crowd, you can tell that this band are more than music to a lot of these people, and as they come back on-stage to play 'Witness' and 'Solace' as their encore, I felt they put the perfect icing on an absolutely perfect cake. Rarely am I as blown away by a band as I was tonight, and if you need further proof, ask anybody else who was in the room... Better yet, watch them for yourself. (10/10)
Massive thanks to Lucas Woodland and Elin Coles for heading down to the gig!