LIVE: Bury Tomorrow / Hands Like Houses / In Hearts Wake / Slaves (US) @ Koko, London [24/10/2014]

By Adam Rosario

Bury Tomorrow are the present of the metal scene in the UK. Long touted as a future figurehead of their scene, the show in KOKO, London, confirmed that they’re the present of the scene. The future is now.

First, was Jonny Craig’s latest band of merry men, Slaves (US). Opening with ‘The Fire Down Below’ the first thing that is noticable about the band is that they’re far more than a vanity project for Craig. The vocalist will also be in the spotlight, but the members behind him create a colourful wall of sound on which Craig can create wonderful images. A very impressive opening set, with ‘Those Who Stand For Nothing, Fall For Everything’ being a particular highlight.

Next was the first of a double course of Australian rock, with In Hearts Wake setting about the second set of the night. While being perfectly acceptable in terms of performance and technical playing, they seemed to be a pretty generic band who were good at what they do. Sounding like Of Mice & Men is never a bad thing, though they lean heavier on the metal core and less on the clean vocals. They were a great support band, especially for this tour, they just need to find their own identity.

The second half of the Australian tag team came in the form of much hyped Hands Like Houses. Having just released a new EP, and riding high after last years ‘Unimagine’ album they set about converting the metal fans in the room. Being considered a lightweight band for this tour, these guys showed that they have the tunes to turn any room into fans. The crowd reactions and singalongs were incredible to hear with a Jonny Craig assisted ‘Introducing Species’ completing a triumphant support slot.

After these 3 good to great sets, it was time for Bury Tomorrow to prove why they deserved to be playing this legendary venue. Opening with lead single from latest album Runes, ‘Man On Fire’ caused havoc from the first chord. Not only was the man on fire, so was the band. They played the show as if it was the last time they’d ever play to a crowd this size. Frontman Dan Winter-Bates whipped the crowd into a frenzy, calling for more bouncing and bigger pits throughout. ‘Watcher’, ‘An Honourable Reign’ and ‘Our Gift’ all sounded massive.

The finale of ‘Lionheart’ was the perfect end and showed that Bury Tomorrow are not just the future of their scene, but they’re also the present. It won’t be long until they’re following in the footsteps of Architects and While She Sleeps and step up to play even bigger venues than this. A fantastic night of music was rounded off by one of the best live bands in this country right now. Fact.