LIVE: Black Foxxes @ The Dome, London

By Louis Kerry

Playing the biggest headline show of your career must be nerve-racking enough, but to do it when you’re supposed to be in the hospital adds a whole new level of uneasiness. This is exactly the predicament that UK rock trio Black Foxxes find themselves in. Regardless of their wellbeing, the opportunity to smash the Tuffnell Dome is not something that they are going to pass up.

Frontman Mark Holley single-handedly opens the show with a solo introduction of the always euphoric ‘I’m Not Well’ (which tonight is very literal) before the rest of team join him and quickly create electricity together on stage. Between songs it becomes clear that there is something bothering Holley and not long later he explains to his fans that he is suffering from Crohn’s Disease and the distress it’s causing becomes quite clear. However, he never lets it defeat him. Like you’re watching Rocky 3, when it looks like he’s ready to throw in the towel, the singer keeps going; harder, heavier and more emotional every time, it adds a new layer of passion to each song as his vocals become the most mesmerising and meticulous part of the whole performance.

With one of the most supportive and attentive crowds imaginable, the band savour every moment of the show that they’ve worked so hard to earn, and their fans give everything back that they ask from them. Possessing a Nirvana-like grit and post-hardcore inspired shred, Black Foxxes lead huge singalongs on the likes of ‘Husk’ and ‘Whatever Lets You Cope’, reminding everyone exactly why they are one of the most promising bands in the scene today.

Having spent the last two years on tour, playing every rock festival you can think of, as well as a huge support slot with You Me At Six, the band’s sharpened performance is as slick as it can possibly be. Offering a selection of new, slightly cleaner, tracks like ‘The Big Wild’, the band show that they’ve learned a sense of maturity and a new taste for melody on the road, ensuring that the future could be even brighter for them.

Ending on the anthemic ‘River’ creates a sincere and emotional connection between the band and the audience. For Black Foxxes to achieve such a monumental sell out a gig is an achievement itself, but to do it in such a defiant nature is something special that should not be under-appreciated. Every upcoming band could learn from Black Foxxes’ work ethic, musicianship and sheer devotion to their art.