LIVE: Cancer Bats / Death By Stereo / Funeral Shakes @ The Underworld, Camden.

By Christopher Lee

Whenever a band announce a tour to celebrate the anniversary of a record, it always seems to take you back in time. Trying to remember where you were or what you were doing the first time you heard it. Or which of the tracks from the record you may have heard the band play before. Hail Destroyer is the very definition of a breakthrough record and Cancer Bats are about to write themselves into The Underworld history books with no less than four sold out shows in a row and we headed down to the final show to take it all in.

Of course, the guys have decided to bring some very talented bands along for the ride kicking off with the insatiable Funeral Shakes. The Watford lads are without doubt the best dressed band out there at the moment (where can we buy those shirts?) their lyrics may be full of dread, regret and heartbreak but those topics have never sounded so good. Sure with early doors there might not have been as many people in the venue as they’d have wanted but that doesn’t stop their brand of good old rock n roll getting those in attendance moving. Just like the recent vinyl revival, Funeral Shakes have dug deep and dragged a 50s sound back into the present and not to mention that technically, Funeral Shakes are the first band to ever play The Underworld 4 nights in a row. Technically…

Next up bringing with them a huge change in pace are Death By Stereo who immediately launch into a ferocious set. It even seems to take the crowd by surprise a little but that soon passes as a circle pit erupts and the band can’t help but join in the fun running through the pit while still managing to hit their notes. Death By Stereo are all about riffs, huge vocals and even more riffs which fit perfectly into the evening, which reminds us of the difficulty settings from your favourite computer game. If Funeral Shakes were the easy, fun setting then Death By Stereo are the medium, harder setting you must conquer before moving onto the hardest setting, which in this case are the mighty Cancer Bats.

And finally, the reason we’re all here. To celebrate 10 years of one of the finest records out there ‘Hail Destroyer.’ Taking the stage to a huge roar from the crowd as you’d expect they kick off proceedings with their no nonsense cover of the famous Beastie Boys track ‘Sabotage’ there are crowd surfers and mosh pits from the get go and these don’t cease until the final note has been played.

Not wanting to go straight into ‘Hail Destroyer’ the guys first build the foundations with a brutal rendition of ‘Bricks & Mortar’ before laying waste to the entire room. Playing through each track with care and precision they sound as huge and chaotic as ever. ‘Sorceress’ and ‘PMA ‘til I’m DOA’ still sound as fresh and engaging as they did a decade ago. But tonight isn’t just about the record, it’s about the bands journey because as they put it “We’d still be working in a tofu factory if it wasn’t for you guys” there’s even time for a few tracks from the bands epic surprise album ‘The Spark That Moves’ before they finish fittingly on yet another chaotic performance of ‘Hail Destroyer’

And just like that Cancer Bats write their own page into the famous Underworld history book by becoming the first band to headline the venue for 4 nights straight. And with the resounding success of their newest record here’s to many more landmarks for the Canadian band. Long live the Cancer Bats.