Defeater – London Camden Underworld

By paul

A mid-week jaunt to Camden for the last night of the Bridge 9, Defeater/Dead Swans tour was very much in order. I arrived in time to see the first band take to the stage, setting up in front of an eager and already busy enough Underworld. Thirty Days of Night records? Breaking Point were the blokes in question starting to play, and they warmed everything up nicely. They seemed a little nervous (the bassist dropping his bass) but their brand of no-frills, old school stuff went down pretty well. (2.5)

More Than Life followed up, delivering a tight set, the kind of which only comes about after a lengthy stint on the road. I?d never seen them before and it was impressive stuff, their best tunes being a bit more down the Modern Life Is War sort of route. Some of the other stuff was a bit more hit and miss, washing over a lot of the crowd at the back, but the ferocity more than made up for it. (3)

So, Dead Swans came on after, fully looking like a band who owned the place. Within seconds it was clear this lot have some very dedicated fans, helping vocalist Nicholas with shouts everytime he turned his mic round towards them. The thing about Dead Swans is they have some serious hooks to back some decent riffs, and even with some guitar parts being played by the odd temp, you can plainly see why there is hype around this band. The set was over in double quick time, but this lot are definitely something special, and its nice to know they are English. (4)

And then I had my Defeater virginity taken. And I knew they would have to be good to play up to the standard Set by DS. Humbled as they clearly were to be playing to a near full room at the Underworld (constant thankyous to bands, crew, punters followed nearly every song) they played their own brand of more subtle hardcore to a crowd that seemed to know every word. Drawing liberally from their new EP, Lost Ground, they pulled out 45 minutes in the blink of an eye. Lost Ground is a very fine EP indeed, and tonight ?Home Ain?t Never Home? was the highlight for me (its nice to relate to a track about feeling like home when you?re away on tour). There is something about Defeater which makes you think they genuinely feel privileged to be playing and think of themselves in the same way they think about the people who pay to come and watch them. They embody the hardcore ethics, whilst injecting a folky, chilled out element (even the acoustic came out this evening). And kudos has to be given for flogging their t-shirts for a fiver too. (4.5)