LIVE REVIEW: Black Peaks, Palm Reader, Toska, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, 03/04/2016
Over the last 12 months Sussex based quartet Black Peaks have been a band that anyone with a keen interest in up & coming rock music in Britain has been keeping an eye on, after delivering some very promising singles and some outstanding sets at 2000 Trees, Hevy Fest and on tour with Lonely The Brave last year. Embarking on their first UK headline tour, we caught them at the famous King Tuts Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow to see if they’re worth the hype.
First up were Brighton based trio Toska, who offered a number of post-metal epics, reminiscent of early Maybeshewill. Many of the songs played stretch well over six minutes, whilst offering all manner of unstructured musical chaos, with the band constantly changing time signatures and throwing the typical song structure of contemporary rock music out the window. The technicality of the bands musicianship is clear to see and these songs sound interesting enough for the length of the tracks not to bore us.
Next up were hardcore outfit Palm Reader who certainly offer a drastic change of pace to Toska. This was a half hour set filled with fast aggressive technical riffs, complimented by some ferocious vocals from frontman Josh McEwan. As a live act Palm Reader are full of energy and emotion on stage with the band constantly moving and looking like they were giving this everything, Palm Reader really seem to be believing in what they are doing and it’s a pity that a handful of the crowd don’t seem to really share the enthusiasm and energy that the band do.
Finally it was time for headliners Black Peaks who quite simply are a phenomenal live act. For a band who (at the time of this show anyway) only had half a dozen songs available to listen to, the reaction from the crowd was terrific. The songs were anthemic, being sung along to loudly by the enthusiastic crowd. Songs like Glass Built Castles and Crooks manage to combine avante-garde technicality with huge choruses which create a truly unique experience. Vocalist Will Gardner has this very awkward Ian Curtis like stage presence, which is odd when you consider just how powerful this guy’s voice is. It ranges from huge Pterodactyl like screams which only the very best vocalists in rock music are capable of pulling off; to excellent clean vocals, and the transition between the two is seamless. Quite simply when it comes to their instrumentation, Black Peaks are at the very top level and pull all this off every bit as well live as they have in the studio. Black Peaks are a band with a huge future ahead of them and if there is any justice in contemporary rock music these guys are going to be huge. At a time in British rock music where we’re spoiled with great new bands, Black Peaks are among the very best.
Written by: Cameron Law