Black Spiders @ The Electric Ballroom, Camden

With Black Spiders, w/ Hawk Eyes + Baby Godzilla
11th October 2013
Review by  Anna Dumpe

When Black Spiders announced their UK tour in support of the new album This Savage Land, it was clear that one fine rock’n’roll party is about to be had. After playing multiple cities around the UK, Black Spiders paid visit to London’s Electric Ballroom in the heart of Camden Town to celebrate the end of the tour with a bang(!). We were there to join in for a fun evening of swinging our hips to some good rock’n’roll music.

We’ve all seen bands with outrageous stage performances, but when it comes to tonight’s first act Baby Godzilla, it’s a whole different story. Nottingham’s finest Baby Godzilla literally takes their stage show to another level and put on a performance that’s like something you’ve possibly never seen before.

During their set Baby Godzilla members are hardly ever on stage. Instead of that, they join the crowd to become a part of it and go absolutely nuts. Jonny Hall and Matt Reynolds, both Baby Godzilla guitarists, put on a show that’s raw, unpredictable and a little violent. And by ‘violent’ we mean going apeshit while running around the venue, climbing on to everything they can possibly find and throwing around their guitars that would occasionally hit a member of the audience. Fun, hey?

The way Baby Godzilla lads approach their live performance, most definitely confuses the hell out of each and every person in the crowd, but their music works as a great drive for it. It’s extreme, groovy and a little chaotic holding significant hardcore and punk influences. The ultimate highlight of Baby Godzilla performance is ”Powerboat Disaster,” which encourages those familiar with the band to join in by throwing themselves all over the room and attempting to sing along. For those who like their usual rock’n’roll show a little different and totally nuts, make sure to check these guys out.

Next up are the mighty riff masters from Leeds going under the name of Hawk Eyes (ex-Chickenhawk). It’s clear to admit that any band (big or small) would find it quite disturbing to come on right after when Baby Godzilla have smashed the stage to pieces. It seems like quite a task to follow up such intense performance, however, Hawk Eyes manage to pull it off well enough to impress the crowd with their great use of riffs, melodics and the exceptionally tight sound.

When it comes to Hawk Eyes music, what instantly stands out is the brilliant guitar work that’s melodic, yet progressive and a little experimental. With a good drive, great energy and solid vocals Hawk Eyes come across as a promising band to keep an eye on.

Cleverly mixing heavy parts with melodic elements Hawk Eyes add a lot of contrast to their set and are pretty impossible to pigeonhole when it comes to defining their genre. Their songs like “Witch Hunt” and “Kiss This” gets the crowd moving with its intense and stomping rhythms and catchy arrangement.

For fans of quality groove, big riffs and progressive approach, Hawk Eyes is the band to look out for, as their sound incorporates influences from anyone, like Mastodon, Queens Of The Stone Age, Dillinger Escape Plan, Barones, etc.

When it’s finally time for tonight’s main act Black Spiders, the room is packed out and the tension is up as the band is greeted by a cheerful and enthusiastic crowd ready to go nuts.

Opening with “Knock You Out” off their brand new studio album This Savage Land, Black Spiders make it an exciting start of their set when they storm the stage full of energy.

Black Spiders manage to get the crowd go crazy within the first few seconds of their performance, yet the real party kicks off with their second song “Stay Down,” which is a true Black Spiders classic loved and adored by the audience. That’s exactly when the first moshpit of the night breaks out and leaves most of the audience members covered in beer, sweat and God knows what else. Aside from that, the band gets everyone to raise their middle fingers and shout the classic line “Fuck you, Black Spiders!!!”

However, the main reason of tonight’s gathering is to celebrate the release of This Savage Land, so Black Spiders don’t waste too much time and throw in songs like “Trouble” and “Sleep Demon,” which both go down epic and get the crowd to sing along. “Balls,” which is another new Black Spiders song, makes one of tonight’s highlights with its catchy riffs, sing-along chorus and straight forward lyrics.
Black Spiders catchy rock’n’roll sound and their signature approach to performance is dead serious, yet very much tongue in cheek. It emphasizes the character of the band that many people find unique and original.

Tonight the band brings it down with the bluesy “Put Love in its Place” sounding like possibly the closest thing to a ballad Black Spiders have ever written. With a slight Smashing Pumpkins influence, “Put Love in its Place” goes down as a cool track that stands out and adds a bit of variety to tonight’s setlist.

Cleverly mixing new material with classics off Sons Of The North (2011), Black Spiders make sure the energy is pumping and everyone in the crowd is having a ball. “KISS Tried to Kill Me” gets the whole room singing and demonstrates the epic drumming skills of Tiger Si, while “Just Like a Woman” shows just how good Black Spiders are when it comes to interacting with the crowd. After making sure how the ladies and gentlemen at the Electric Ballroom are doing tonight, Black Spiders manage to get even the stiffest members of the crowd moving to the dirty rock’n’roll sound of “Just Like a Woman”.

After demonstrating exceptional performing skills as a band, Black Spiders finish their set with the upbeat “Teenage Knife Gang,” which is another energy driver track that without a doubt leaves the rowdy crowd wanting for some more.

When Black Spiders return to stage few minutes later, they show no sign of exhaustion. They blast out the absolute crowd pleaser that is “St, Peter” and “Stick it to the Man,” which manages to raise the energy in the room to a new level. They finish things off with a song that perfectly resembles what Black Spiders are all about and does not need much explanation – “What Good’s a Rock Without a Roll?”.

Black Spiders setlist:
1. Knock You Out
2. Stay Down
3. Creatures
4. KISS Tried to Kill Me
5. Sleepy Demon
6. Trouble
7. Balls
8. Put Love in Its Place
9. Just Like a Woman
10.Teenage Knife Gang

11. St. Peter
12. Stick It to the Man
13. What Good’s a Rock Without a Roll?