LIVE REVIEW: Creeper, Holding Absence, Static Dress, O2 Forum Kentish Town, 15/21/2021
Photo Credit: Stu Garneys
A flamboyant flair for the dramatics and theatrics has always been something that has been at the beating heart of an entity as grandiose as Southampton gothic horror-punks Creeper. Whether that be the majestic balance between the fictional magical kingdom of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, alongside the reality that follows the mysterious disappearance of local paranormal investigator James Scythe that are both detailed storylines that lace first full-length Eternity, In Your Arms.
Or it could be the totally conjured up imaginative world of America’s Calvary Falls that caresses the narrative surrounding second studio album Sex, Death & The Infinite Void leading into latest EP American Noir, which sees the gripping storyline climax in the tragic death of main protagonist Roe and the fallout of Annabelle’s grief that follows.
It’s clear from their mystical material that Creeper musically, lyrically and visually are storytellers of stunningly engrossing narratives that have the power to transcend people’s minds, bodies and souls and in a live setting, that’s no exception either. As the outfit prepare to step out onto the sold-out stage at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town to the excitable screams of thousands, what you were about to bear witness to was something of a true dramatic haunting horror punk show that will go down in Creeper’s history, and that’s saying something for an entity who faked their own death on stage at KOKO back in 2018.
Before Creeper comes onto stage, support comes courtesy of both rising post-hardcore promises Static Dress and masters of atmospheric rock and post-hardcore Holding Absence, both bands putting on belters of sets worthy of their own headlining slots.
As the storyline suggest for Sex, Death & The Infinite Void, an angel descends to earth with an important prophecy, well Creeper’s very own vocalist Will Gould was that angel tonight. Walking out to the warm buzz of Kentish Town, concealed by the black transparent curtain that lay before them, a silhouette of Gould wearing angel wings appears to the adoration vocalised by the crowd before Creeper, who commence set opener Hiding With Boys. The buzz of thousands of people crooning back “Loving you is killing me, Loving you is killing me,” as Will beckons his mic to the crowd is a thing of goosebump inducing beauty.
Not daunted by the concept that this is Creeper’s biggest ever headline show to date, the Southampton outfit waltz through a sublime set of Creeper classics, including Poison Pens, bringing out Static Dress’ Olli Appleyard who is welcomed to the Creeper cult with wide open arms. Appleyard brings some hardcore stomp to proceedings and the chilling prologue said aloud word for word by many a people in the venue and keys that open Black Rain.
New cuts are admittedly in shorter supply compared to their guaranteed crowd pleasers such as Damned and Doomed, keyboardist and co-vocalist Hannah Hermione’s American Noir character Annabelle adorned in the wedding dress designed for her big day on stage, taking front and centre with a stunning vocal masterclass. Closely followed by the anthemic rock ballad Midnight, Gould and Hermione duetting with an air of grace, the pyrotechnics that fly throughout the night and on this one only enhancing the flamboyant fashion of a Creeper showcase.
“It has been so fucking fun to be with you, thank you for coming and being with us,” concludes Gould to the crowd before classic closer Annabelle. A song “we designed for you to jump to,” Kentish Town didn’t have a pair of feet on its grounds, the crowd bouncing as pyros flew once more. “God can’t save us/So let’s live like sinners.” earning the biggest singalong send-off of the night for an entity who have the natural storytelling ability to evoke strong emotions out of their listeners and those in attendance at Creeper’s sold-out headliner at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town tonight will tell you their live shows do no different.
Written By: Katie Conway-Flood
Photos By: Stu Garneys