Thursday, 21 April 2011


The Blackout
Koko Camden
12th April 2010

An exceptional night of music. A brash statement but there was such a variety of things going on it was like being at a festival and just taking a cross section through the line up for the line up of this gig tonight.

Now call me a cynic (no, really, do) but it does seem like the in thing right now for slightly ‘harder’ bands to alter their image by singing with a rap artist, and not only have the Blackout done this, but said artist has accompanied them on tour as first support too. Not looking to enjoy it I found my pessimistic self blown out the water by a need to dance, I didn’t know the words, I sure as hell recognised some of the samples and suddenly I realised, this guy was cool. Not that I have any authority to tell you what’s cool, being at a gig surrounded by 15 year olds, but this guy isn’t just your every day rapper. Hyro Da Hero’s influences are purely rock, yet he gives them a magnificent hip hop spin. I was overwhelmed to say the least, and with Mr Sean Smith of the Blackout fame coming on to join in with a song (too ignorant to work out which it was, sorry) it was an epic performance. Headliner worthy.

Second band, also from the States, was The Swellers. Now I really enjoyed their set, full of old and brand new songs, the only qualm is that they’re nothing new, nothing special but hey, I like what I like, especially when it’s good. They could have done with a bit more crowd interaction to give themselves some more stage presence, but there was nothing wrong with their set, it was very entertaining.

Lastly the Blackout took the stage. I suddenly felt like I’d been transported to the MEN to see McFly with the rapturous applause and girly screams emitting from aforementioned 15 year olds mouths. But, once again the boys from Merthyr Tydfill put on an exceptional show. Considering they’d just been on tour with Limp Bizkit, I half expected a cover to break the arrogant mood of the night, but alas none came. They played a clever set though, so much crowd participation, an impromptu Q&A session live on stage and a thorough mix of songs from ‘back in the day’ and the latest album. The reaction of the crowd said it all really, excitement, arm waving and participation in their overdone gag of getting everyone to sit down before the ‘brutal breakdown’ post encore. I cant fault them though, Higher and Higher was accompanied by Hyro da Hero, The Best In Town accompanied by a lot of singalongs and ‘I’M A RIOT’ accompanied by a ‘circle of death’*. A great gig all in all.

*I actually overheard an obvious first time gig goer say ‘Is a circle of death where the emos stand in a circle and kill themselves?’


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