Having released the album of the year ‘Sanguivore’ (in my humble opinion) Creeper takes their Vampire Musical extravaganza on a five-date headline tour of the UK and tonight they round it off in the big smoke at a sold-out Shepherds Bush Empire. Their leather jacket clad bloody mouthed fans line-up round the block for what promises to be one hell of a night!
Opening up this evening are Welsh five piece The Nightmares. The stage is bathed in red light setting a wonderfully dark mood very befitting on this lineup. Their gothic synth laced sound swoons through the air and has everyone in the room captivated. It’s always heartwarming when an opening band gets so much love, it’s not always an easy spot but these guys have such a great presence that clearly resonates with tonight’s audience. The set goes down exceptionally and anyone who was unfamiliar with the band are new coverts and luckily for them The Nightmares are heading out on their own headline tour in March next year so grab a ticket and catch them for yourselves.
Ramping it up a few notches Save Face rip through the air with their highly charged alternative punk rock. The whole room was jumping, and crowd surfers started early. It was a real injection of high energy as lead singer Tyler Povander leapt, ran, and rolled around the stage delivering an exciting performance. Their songs are appealing and their ‘be yourself and no one else’ attitude is just what we are all here for. The whole band had great stage presence and chemistry making sure that the room was well and truly warmed up.
The time arrives for Creeper to take to the stage with their ‘Vampire Musical’ and the room is buzzing. There is so much buzz around the band in fact that there is an overspill of photographers chomping at the bit to cover the show. We are split into two groups so queue me stood behind a door with my nose pressed to the glass desperately trying to get a glimpse of the stage for opening number ‘Further than Forever’. It’s the first track from latest release Sanguivore, a nine-minute epic adventure of a song that causes the entire room to erupt into joyous screams as the bloody faced William Von Ghould and his band of vampires take to the stage.
The room is theirs now and the love for these guys is incredible, extremely tangible, and so very deserved. Tonight’s set is a veritable feast of new tracks seasoned with old favourites complimenting each other perfectly and showing all the facets of their talents. The high punk energy of Room 309 rife with crowd surfers nestles in nicely between ‘further than forever’ and ‘Teenage sacrifice’ which also sees Hannah pick up a guitar adding to the list of her already many talents, then all too quickly my time in the pit is done!
Switching to fan mode I get straight into the circle pit and end up right in the thick of the action, amidst fellow teary, sweaty, bloody (don’t worry its makeup) vamps. A show like this is good for the soul, band and fans are so in sync its beautiful. Drummer Jake Fogarty and Keyboard and Backing vocalist Hannah Greenwood have a drum battle and it stays a debatable topic as to who triumphed. After we are treated to Hannah’s solo ‘Crickets’ always a wonderful moment in the set, her vocals are beautiful and accompanied by Ian on acoustic guitar it is a softer side of the show and a wonderful way to segue into the second half of the set.
Will re-appears in a bloodied white shirt gripping and feeding on a beautiful victim (played by his girlfriend Charlotte) before throwing her to the floor for his vampire familiar Darcia to drag away as he surveys the room snarling and baring his fangs. The crowd are even more exhilarated now and voices sing louder along to ‘Cyanide’ and ‘Anabelle’. Although Will has the wonderfully dark and brooding performance down perfectly, even he can’t hide his joy at the outpouring of love for him and the band as collectively the voices of 2,000 people sang the chorus line of ‘Down Below’ taking over briefly as the band just soaked up the atmosphere.
They finish the set with an encore of ‘Cry to Heaven’ and take a bow to Rocky Horror show’s Science fiction reprise. However – you can’t just finish a vampire extravaganza without a rave – right? Darcia re-appears wielding Will’s severed head which I am astounded is still in one piece over a year since its debut and not only is it in one piece – but it also now squirts water all over the crowd!
Phew! What an exhilarating evening! The kind you never want to be over, but alas it had to end. The band head out to Europe with Atreyu on November 25th and all I can say is lucky Europe!