LIVE: Cassyette / Kid Bookie / CRASHFACE @ O2 Academy Islington, London

By Kat Ferris

Despite the relative infancy of the line-up, the more than respectably sized O2 Academy Islington was humming with anticipation. The evening was rich with promise for a refreshing showcase of London’s alt scene’s brightest new offerings.

First up to the mantle was CRASHFACE; the pandemic-born duo stepped out to the stage, a far cry from isolation. The Gerard Way parallels are hard to ignore, with Charlie Hinton stepping out in a blood-stained suit, radiating personality and captivating the audience with a raucous punk performance.

Followed by South-East London’s own Kid Bookie, unapologetically impossible to pigeonhole into genre limits, his hip-hop-meets-trap metal performance traversed rapid-fire rap delivery, riff-laden instrumentalism and a unique take on crowd engagement. His patter included the demand “put your hands up if you’re a human being and not a fucking reptilian like the queen”, which one felt obliged to concede and get involved. His rally cries to the misfits resonated with the crowd – which was refreshingly diverse in age, gender, race and expression – culminating in an impressive mosh pit for a Tuesday night support slot.

As 21:30 rolled around and with the crowd suitably riled, the main draw of the evening, Cassyette, took to the stage. A punk powerhouse from the onset, her stage presence was immediately electrifying with the opening track driving the enthralled crowd into a frenzy. Followed swiftly by ‘Dear Goth’, a track that rocketed Cassyette into the Tik Tok zeitgeist and boasts over 4.5 million Spotify streams at the time of this show. This song flaunts her remarkable range and mastery of vocal styles, effortlessly hopping from melodic verses into a guttural screamo showcase, dripping with character throughout. She continued to chug through her unique discography, to an obligingly feverish audience, reassuring the performance with boundless energy and incessant singing back to the stage.

The introduction of a track with gothic grandeur, ‘September Rain’, signals a change of pace to the crowd, prompting bittersweet and emotive reflection. The much-needed break from frenzy followed for the next few songs, with a heartfelt cover of ‘Falling Down’ by the late, great Lil Peep and XXXTENTACION. The tempo of the evening was then effortlessly transitioned with ‘Mayhem’, our personal highlight of the night and audibly a fan favourite, her quintessential love-gone-bad anthem. The visible emotional proximity to the raw lyricism of the track made for a captivatingly honest performance that radiated relatability – a real stand-out.

Despite the follow-up being called ‘Sad Girl Summer’, O2 Islington was no longer dwelling on exes. Cassyette shook the crowd out of a funk with her empowering rager of a chorus, filled to the brim with pop-punk guitar riffs, impossible to not enjoy. The set thundered on with the new pace set, gleefully embraced by the mesmerised crowd which swiftly returned to their proclivity to jump around. The crowd reached fever pitch as she leapt headfirst from the stage and directly into her doting audience – we eagerly facilitated the crowd surf, her bleach blonde cropped mullet bobbed around the venue, before returning to the stage and overlooking her dominion with a euphoric smile.

As the set reaches its final throes, she unleashes ‘Petrichor’, her powerful vocals carry the punchy track, filled with angst, the compelling snarl of the performance encompassed the best bits of the last hour. Complete with classic, somewhat cliché, rock ‘n’ roll destruction with the guitarist smashing his instrument, indicating the night was drawing to a close. Although, the crowd wouldn’t take no as an answer, with their cries of “one more song”, rapidly met with a satisfying resolution.

Commanding the room one final time, Cassyette gave a second rendition of ‘Dear Goth’, inexplicably met with even more fervour than the first-time round, despite some minor technical difficulties and a false start. Just like that, she has firmly cemented her status as scene leader for the latest generation of rock fans with an infectious presence and talent, too vivid to ignore.