LIVE: Create to Inspire / Far From Home / Skies in Motion / Faces of Eve @ Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield

By Mark Johnson

Essex-based Create to Inspire are on the cusp of making a breakthrough. Having impressed with their well received debut EP ‘Home is Where My Heart Dies’ in March 2016, the band are building up to their first full-length ‘Sickness’ on 26 May and if latest single ‘Adjust’ is anything to go by, it’s set to be quite a debut. To generate some interest prior to the release, Create to Inspire have set out on a headline tour of the UK, including this stop in Sheffield’s Mulberry Tavern.

The stage is opened by Faces of Eve, a band who have clearly put some thought into their presentation. Each member is sporting their own merchandise, the vocalist starts the show in a black and white mask and throughout the set a backing track add effects, synths and backing vocals to supplement the performance. Their tech-metal tinged post-hardcore has some interesting ideas and clever time changes, but the tempo is so sluggish that it’s sadly devoid of energy.

The overwhelming sound of the backing track and the sluggish pace makes the band seem like they’re playing covers rather than their own material and though they may have worked hard at their presentation, the performance seems more of a choreographed stage show than an outpouring of emotion, resulting in a sadly clinical and cold set.

In contrast, Derby’s Skies in Motion bring energy and personality to the stage and though their metalcore is a little repetitive over the course of a full set, it sustains interest due to the band bringing vibrancy to what they do. The band visibly enjoy what they’re playing which adds to the atmosphere and despite not adding a great deal of originality to the genre, their material is solid and easy to appreciate.

Final support act Far From Home show a lot of promise with their brand of melodic hardcore. Emotion pours from the band on stage, their music accentuated by atmospheric guitars and screamed vocals. Across the set, songs are kept distinctive with varied tempos and song structures and when the band’s upcoming EP gets released it should be well worth a listen.

Create to Inspire maintain the flow of energy and with plenty of dynamics in their music to keep things interesting, their set is over in a flash. The band’s vocalist is able to switch from clean melodies to harsh screaming consistently and comfortably, and it’s all powerful enough to cut through the atmospheric instrumentals. Some of the authenticity of the band’s performance is sadly lost thanks to vocals being patched in from a backing track which at times overwhelms Sean Midson’s live vocals. This genre of music thrives on raw emotion and authenticity, so it’s disappointing to lose some of that effect by having artificial vocals fed into the mix. Midson has a fantastic voice and is clearly able to sing competently live, making the backing track an unnecessary, distracting addition that the band could easily live without.

Compared to the rest of their set, new single ‘Adjust’ stands out as being the most refined and well-crafted, proving that the band are on the right lines with their latest material. When ‘Sickness’ is released in May the band will undoubtedly have a strong pool of songs to draw from to elongate their set and as long as they’re able to maintain a natural authenticity to what they do, the future certainly looks bright for Create to Inspire.