Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Defeater / Carpathian - Nottingham 2011.

Defeater @ Ieperfest Hardcore Winterfest (Ieper, Belgium) 26/02/2010

I'll admit straight off that I had stayed away from Defeater before the last UK tour with Dead Swans and More Than Life because of Kerrang, any band that Kerrang attaches itself I tend to convince myself are shit. Yea, turned out I was wrong and majorly so. If you've followed this blog for a while you'll know of what can only be described as the epiphany that happened when I saw Defeater and I would now be ready to argue that they are one of - if not the - best band in hardcore right now.

The universal hype surrounding the new album has been somewhat pandemic-esque and i for one can understand why, Defeater proved themselves by not only releasing 1 forward thinking concept album, but 2. If you weren't moved by any of the songs, which frankly means (just like if you didn't cry at the movie UP) that you don't have a soul, then you must indeed respect them for being brave enough to write concept albums, and ones that reference each other at that.

So, it was pre-supposed that Damon Edwards and I were to see them in Nottingham with Carpathian. I've seen Carpathian a couple of times without any prior connection to the band, but i've always thought they put on a very good show and are worthy of the praise they receive, despite the artwork for Isolation looking at little too like Shipwreck A.D's Abyss and the way the lyrics have sometimes relied a bit too much on going for that 'i'm oh so alone in a world full of friends' angle. These are my gripes though and probably not universally agreed upon and as i've mentioned, I think they're overall a very good band.

This was my first interaction with the Nottingham 'scene' aside from the Architects show but that's a different kettle of pandoras worms and I have to say it was on par fashion wise. Many bobble hats, beanies, barbour coats, black noir-type designs on white t's from one name hardcore bands and the now obligatory Only snapback hats and overly large t-shirts. It was impressive to say the least. Mens fashion is now an inescapable thing and I find it intriguing to view how the hardcore scene assimilates certain aspects of it and incorporates the alternative side aswell, although it has diluted this alternative side extremely since the Myspace days but thats a given, Job For A Cowboy were Deathcore back then and we all looked like girly fools...you get me.

we came as the The Rivercard started and they're an extremely solid band, for the time they've been plugging away they should be bigger. They were tight and reminded me of Carry On in places, which is in no way a band thing. They have a new 7" out for about £5 which features the song they finished with that's entitled 'fresh meat' which was an absolute stomper. Spoke to the guitarists and they were sound, band highly recommended. Plus they originate from Stoke which is where i'm at university so y'know.

Carpathian were up next and were frankly fantastic. They've been around long enough to know what they're doing and the last record signifies a maturity, albeit a deliberately melancholic one. Unfortunately they're a band with whom i have no connection record wise I so cant fully describe how the songs were translated, which is a shame. Damon dug it and he loves them so i can presume they were good.

Last time i saw Defeater they opened with the acoustic part of Prophet In Plain clothes, a hardcore band opening with an acoustic song was somewhat of a subterfuge towards my knowledge of hardcore gigs and blew my mind, today was the same affair. Opening with the increasing-towards-a-rather-angry-climax I Don't Mind which was utterly mesmirising. The set was crafted perfectly, the great thing about Defeater being that they know how make use of silence to emphasize their music. The most important moments of this coming in The Red White and Blues / the absolutely epic Cowardice during which I actually felt my voice break.
In short: Defeater are a band it's absolutely fine to cry to, infact i'd encourage it, stop being such pussies and cry you fucks, as they are not just brilliant musicians but storytellers as well. Go and see them, they are incredibly important to hardcore and music in general.

As we couldn't get home the rest of the night was spent playing scrabble in the adjoining bar and meeting complete fucking nutters, watching someone getting glassed and nearly being raped by an essex girl who asked me to "fuck her in the toilets" after I said I wouldn't dance with her were highlights. I'm always down for toilet fucks with unknown heroin loving sluts and playing scrabble with some 35yr old dude called Lewis who kept telling us about his 18yr old kid? wtf.

note: wherever you go, try to convince strangers your tattooed friend is famous. 60% of the time, it works every time.