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LIVE REVIEW: Casey, THE NIGHTMARES, The Garage, London, 14/01/2023

Photo Credit: Abbi Draper-Scott

We join the already long queue outside The Garage for this highly anticipated show, taking place 1334 days since the ending of the chapter of Casey as we all knew it then. The shows were announced back in December across the UK + Europe and came filled with easter eggs via an essay from vocalist Tom Weaver teasing references to Great Grief & Atone; the new singles released were steeped with new energy to the closure of its last chapter

With doors opening slightly later than anticipated, it gives collective time for strangers on a chilly night to discuss the meaning of Casey as a band echoing the high highs and low lows of life, punctuated out the corner of our eye by Casey drummer Max Nicolai positioned subtly in a doorway discreetly taking videos of the outside of The Garage queue looking pensive at the sheer number of people that have amassed for the night.

THE NIGHTMARES hailing from Newport were chosen to support this intimate run of shows by Casey exclusively, albeit an intriguing choice for support as a band who are heavily influenced by the likes of Creeper & Joy Division. They take the stage, lulled by the warmth of the room and launch into an impassioned set fuelled by synth sounds and dulcet tones. With high moments of singalong value and crowd participation with new song Pink & Grey & closing out with Dorothy for those that we have lost appropriately bringing the mood down. With their recent signing to Venn Records the quartet defiantly have a few new fans in the crowd. 7/10

In a venue full of strangers, it feels like home as the heroes of the evening return to the stage, microphone decorated in flowers in typical Casey fashion and to a roar from the crowd. Starting the evening off with Great Grief followed by Atone; the two newest offerings from the Welsh quintet which are twinged with hopefulness but with the ever-consistent swirl of emotion from Tom Weaver who commands the crowd with his vulnerable and open offering ever present. Dipping into Where I Go When I Am Sleeping; Phosphenes, & and Fluorescents are up next with every single word belted back by the crowd and every sentiment returned by the audience.

Gaps between the songs are filled with appreciation of crowd & crew assembled, personal sentiments shared and humble thank yous for all gathered. Following on from WIGWIAS we traverse into Love Is Not Enough, the embodiment of angst where the throng of the crowd moves as one and the peak of the crowd surfing begins. We end the evenings offerings with Hell and Little Bird as shiny, sweaty, happy faces with lyrics “someday you will ache the way I ache” chanted collectively, louder than Weaver can sing, or Nicolai can thump along to.

Usually, the watch of Casey is tinged with a little sadness as there’s something introspective about watching five souls tear themselves apart for forty-five minutes however tonight it was joyful, the return and the beginning of the next chapter of what is yet to come. 9/10

Words and Photos: Abbi Draper-Scott

Abbi Draper-Scott

Abbi Draper-Scott

South based photographer - caffeine reliant & avid vinyl peruser.