LIVE REVIEW: Chasing Cadence, Junior, Black Heart, Camden, 29/09/2016
There’s nothing like a Thursday gig to brighten up the week, so when we heard Chasing Cadence were playing an EP release at the Black Heart we were ready to rock.
The first support band we checked out were Welsh punk rockers Junior. Despite their name, these boys aren’t new to the scene and have a solid fan base in Cardiff, so we couldn’t wait to see what they’d bring to the broody black heart of London’s rock scene. Aside of the reforming of Busted, there seems to be a lack of cheesey, damn right silly, feel good pop-punk in today’s UK music scene. No one wants to hear an upbeat song about feeling happy to a peppy beat down anymore when there’s songs of heartache and pain to stand against a wall to; but that doesn’t stop Junior giving it the good ol’ try and it works. Their ability to charm the crowd with their silly boyish charms and boppy beat is brilliant. Think Busted meets New Found Glory and you’ll get the idea. Each song receives a huge response from the small crowd but the show stopper (quite literally) is when they cut the set to do a limbo competition with a rope made of fairy lights. Just when we thought the party was over Junior end with a closing track which had us bouncing around as high as the two giant beach balls they had thrown into the crowd. Forget All Time Low, these guys had us in an all time high!
Taking things back to a serious hardcore.emo vibe with their EP debut is Chasing Cadence. Normally we would be ready to get our serious brood and headbang on, but after the infectious energy from Junior it felt like finishing a frat party with a funeral.
After evidently changing into their new age music uniform (white tees with rolled up sleeves to reveal tattoos and individual ‘flare’) the boys were ready to go. A classic introduction and quick thank you surrounding the release of their EP welcomes their set, before they hit us with their first track. Openers are tricky and this one is no exception. Their newcomer status is apparent as they fumble over technical issues and poorly hit notes, with the lead screaming as weak as a petrol station coffee.
From the third song the band hit their stride and delivered a watchable performance. Like most modern hardcore bands the drummer carries the performance, whilst the on-stage chemistry of the guitarist, bassist and vocalist feels like a beauty pageant, each fighting for the ‘most loved’ crown. After ‘humbly’ announcing their debut single Everyone Relax things got a bit more interesting, and we realise their appeal in the hardcore market. Incase we were doubting their poser appeal they split the crowd and cat walk vocals, climbing on the merch desk in Zoolander poses. Even though 40% of the crowd are related to them, the other 60% are loving it starting mosh pit riots, so who were we to complain?
In all fairness if you are a fan of band who deliver simple but catchy hardcore, with soft breakdowns and mediocre vocals who are partial to a newcomer top 10, give these guys a listen. We just felt that there was a little left to be desired and the whole thing felt a but like a rock sales pitch. The nail on the coffin was their wannabe pop goes punk version of Sia’s Chandelier, with all of their friends on the stage shouting ‘1 2 3 drink’ and waving their arms like MC fluffers at a rap concert.
Tonight felt a bit too big for little boots, but went down like a spoonful of sickly sugar to a crowd who were surfing all over the show, and would have been swinging off the chandeliers if there were any. Mirroring a headline show at Wembley Arena the band come across as a bit cocky, but by the end of the set we realise it’s all part of their cheeky charm. Their last song is a great close to the set, and although the live vocals didn’t quite tickle our pickle, the guitar and bass bounced around together like an electric storm creating sparks of energy, grounded by the thunderous drums which ignited the room into one last crazy pit.
Overall, although the sound is a little generic, the guys did really well and gave it all with everybody lapping it up – and that’s really what it’s all about!
Written by: Charly Phillips