American progressive metal band, The Contortionist UK tour wraps up in London at The Underworld in Camden. Unluckily for the band, their show happens to coincide with England’s World Cup semi-final appearance against Croatia and inside the venue there are a fair few people glued to their phones as the game goes to extra time.
Thankfully for the band but not for football fans, the game would end a few minutes before they take to the stage. Expectations that the venue might be a tad emptier because of the importance of the game are unfounded in the end as a last-minute rush of fans make their way in to drown their sorrows and put the memory of another World Cup defeat out of their mind.
It’s a late one for The Contortionist as the lights finally go down at 21:45 but annoyingly the band don’t actually take to the stage for another 8 minutes. One of the longest intros I’ve ever experienced, it starts to get frustrating as we wait and wait and wait. Finally, the band step out of the gloom and kick straight into Clairvoyant.
The popularity of the band can’t be understated as the lower section of the venue heaves with bodies moving and heads banging. Up close though, the band’s sound is a little bit of a mess, the vocals indistinguishable amongst the vibrating bass and drums.
Further back though, it’s much clearer and the band knock out impressive if un-energetic progressive metal track after track. Weighted heavily towards the latest album, it is called the Clairvoyant tour after all). These tracks are lapped up by a crowd that is loving every second of the short set. Absolve, Godspeed and Return to Earth sound huge in the tiny venue.
Football might not be coming home but The Contortionist are leaving having proven that they were more then up to the task of cheering up those that were feeling disappointment.
The Contortionist at The Underworld, Camden, London (11/07/18)