LIVE REVIEW: WARGASM, Death Blooms, Bambie Thug, The Joiners, Southampton, 27/11/2021
Photo Credit: Haris Nukem
WARGASM have gained themselves a reputation as one of the best live bands on the scene right now, which is why it was no surprise that their debut headline tour sold out in advance, including a show at O2 Academy Islington in London. Now the duo were ready to cause carnage at The Joiners in Southampton and we just knew something special was coming our way especially with support for the show coming from Bambie Thug and Death Blooms.
A haunting atmosphere was created as two hooded figures walked onto the stage, before Bambie Thug arrived to captivate the crowd whilst offering up a dose of shock factor. We were shown different sides during the short, sweet and memorable set as unreleased track Supernova showcased a melodic, clean vocal making it a standout moment to see the range Bambie has to offer. The darker side was highlighted with XES; touching upon being in love when it isn’t as deep as someone may think or as they sing when ‘it’s not emotional’ and PMP (Pussy, Money, Power) with the messages of self-love and sex positivity throughout. There is something incredibly special about them as we found ourselves unable to take our eyes off the vocalist who throughout was hooking audience members eyes and ensuring they were all on them. Bambie Thug provides fiery tracks which make them impossible to forget, you’ll be ready to chant along as the power and chaotic energy of Bambie Thug takes over your body. You’ll also like us, leave feeling ready to take on the world with power in your hands. 8/10
Tonight wasn’t a show for the faint hearted. From the shock factor of Bambie’s band to the onslaught of rowdiness which Death Blooms brought from the moment they hit the stage; it was relentless. Having released their debut album Life Is Pain earlier this year, there was a solid presence of Death Bloom fans within the crowd. Opener Shut Up unleashed sheer carnage as Paul Barrow stomped across the stage to the venue shaking level of drums from Luke J. Hatfield. It definitely felt as if there was a competition to bring the scare factor with an unexplained alien appearing onstage mid-set, which then proceeded to leap into the crowd and unleashed a venue wide mosh pit. In a tiny venue like The Joiners it’s hard to avoid the mosh pits, especially when they span across the whole room, which made the gesture of Barrow checking in on the front row pushed against the stage and those deep in the mosh pit, a really important and respected one to help keep all attendees safe. Their aggressive, in your face style of music and performance meant Fuck Everything whilst musically polished and full of gritty guitar lines; resulted in madness and a sea of middle fingers meeting the band. Death Blooms strike a balance between heavy and cleaner, melodic infused tracks as In Your Head showed, offering some lighter relief and the chance for a sought-after singalong. Safe to say the crowd at this point were very much warmed up ahead of the night’s headliners. 8/10
Bounding onto stage and throwing themselves into latest single Scratchcard Feeling, Milkie Way (sporting a ‘Milkie Fucking Way’ top, incase you forgot her name) and Sam Matlock didn’t have time for introductions they simply wanted to unleash their nu-metal sound on the crowd. Then we were thrown into the sultry Salma Hayek before singles Rage All Over and Your Patron Saints were performed. We had a feeling their take on a sordid collusion of euphoria and violence would excel in the tiny The Joiners venue and as their set continued, we were proved right.
Gold, Gold, Gold was a standout part of the night as we saw a softer side to Milkie’s vocals which when entwined with Matlock’s raw, aggressive vocals making the perfect combination. Possessing one of the catchiest choruses which the duo has written, we found ourselves with this stuck in our heads long after the night finished. Whilst the duo also gave fans a taste of what they’re currently in the studio working on, with working titled Drilldo featuring an incredibly dreamy guitar solo. The catchy chorus of ‘I want to drink, fuck, fight, love’ became engrained within the brains of the crowd as everyone was chanting along with crowd ringleaders Milkie and Matlock. We really cannot wait for this to be released!
The onstage energy between Milkie and Matlock is a heart-warming and impressive sight to see, as smiles are shared across the stage as each other takes their moment of glory. From Milkie’s riffy guitar lines to Matlock proudly standing front centre and lapping up each and every bit of admiration those in the room have for them as he stares down and screams into the faces of the crowd. But when you put the duo together during moments such as God of War guitar section, this is when the magic comes alive as they bounce of each other’s energy. This was an all killer; no filler shows as the band cut the small talk to ensure everything went into performing the strongest and rowdiest set possible giving no time for breathers.
Fan favourite; the band’s cover of N.E.R.D’s Lapdance, also made the cut on the setlist much to everyone’s delight. Uniting the crowd into a mosh pit and crowd surfing paradise, it also saw Adam Crilly (Aka Crilly Ashes) introduced to the stage for a verse, giving him another starring role tonight instead of being in charge of managing the crowd surfers constantly reaching the stage.
Just over two years ago the band performed their debut UK-show in this very venue as support act to Airways, which we were fortunate to witness. Now they’re taking the headline spot at the same venue and couldn’t seem more at home on the stage. With a solid, supportive and cult like fanbase behind them, confidence and creativity in the bucketloads, it’s clear the band are going to continue their journey to greater things.
Closing the night with Spit, it was the chaotic ending we’d all been hoping for. The full band effort of Adam Breeze on drums, Eddie Phoenix on guitar and the dual vocals of Milkie and Matlock is something truly special to witness. Each member on stage played a vital part in creating an electric atmosphere which in turn led the crowd energy to new dizzy heights as crowd surfers were flying over heads onto the stage and right back off before you could even blink. WARGASM were reminding everyone why they deserve your attention and it’s incredibly hard to not have a great time when it feels like the band are truly living out their dreams before your eyes.
WARGASM are truly a sight to behold when performing live, as their recorded material is given the extra edge and grit when performed on a stage. With a number of opportunities to see them in the near future, from supporting Creeper across the UK later this month to a run of European/US dates with Enter Shikari in 2022 we’d definitely recommend you make it a new year’s resolution to see a WARGASM show.
Written By: Nicola Craig