There is something so off-putting about Friday night gigs in Camden, London as most venues have some form of club night happening directly after the show. This tends to mean the main band is on as early as 8pm! A real problem if you’re working & hoping to get in to see the support.
We arrived to see the last two songs of Youth Code, a EBM duo with plenty of on-stage energy. If dance/industrial music mixed with some hardcore is your thing, then Youth Code will have been right up your street. For everyone else they are polar opposites to Deafheaven & a strange choice for support.
The main event, Deafheaven take to the stage at about 8:15 to rapturous applause. The crowd (about 3 quarters full) are in high voice for them though & the energy is pulsating off the Koko walls. Kicking straight into 3 of the 5 songs of the latest release, New Bermuda it’s a stellar start. Brought to the Water, Baby Blue & Come Back are seriously amazing sounding songs even if some of the intricacies of the music seem to be lacking in the live environment.
What isn’t lacking though are the black metal elements, Deafheaven are on fire with the hard-hitting riffs. In particular, frontman & vocalist George Clarke is bouncing around as if he’s fronting a hardcore band. Seriously, watching him is hypnotic at times as he flies around the stage, spends some time surfing the crowd & throws his all into the intense vocals.
Roads to Judah’s Language Games keeps things pumping along nicely but unfortunately, a cover of Mogwai’s Cody midway through the short set brings things to a bit of a halt. It’s played well but in a set that is just 9 songs long & with no encore it feels like a waste of time.
The final 4 songs are all lifted off Sunbather, often seen as Deafheaven’s best work. It recovers the set from the stutter of the cover song with the final double header of Sunbather & The Pecan Tree finishing things off with style.
It’s a strong showing from Deafheaven but the gig ending at just after 9:30pm with only 9 songs, 1 of which is an average cover is disappointing.
Deafheaven Live Set List:
1. Brought to the Water
2. Baby Blue
3. Come Back
4. Language Games
5. Cody (Mogwai cover)
6. Dream House
9. The Pecan Tree
Deafheaven at The Koko Camden, London (21/04/17)
- The Final Score - 7/107/10