LIVE: Create To Inspire / Napoleon @ The Joiners, Southampton

By Lew Trott

The Joiners is the beating heart of live music in the South and tonight is no exception. The sweatbox venue hosts two of the UK’s hottest young hardcore bands for what feels like a homecoming coronation.

Every track from Napoleon’s ‘Newborn Mind’ showcases the bands immense proficiency for technical hardcore, in an intimate setting like this it becomes a whole different animal. ‘Different Skin’ is a far cry from its album counterpart. Not fuelled by the desire for a crunching breakdown but rather by finesse and technical prowess. Such is displayed by guitarist James Mendoza who, contrary to popular belief only has the one set of hands. You’d be forgiven for thinking the band had three guitarists but in actual fact they only have one. Ridiculous. The crowd seem eager to take part in a good old mosh but it does become apparent that perhaps the Exeter outfit have no intention of delivering any floor splitting moments. Plenty of mic grabs, especially during ‘Afterlife’, but the mob crave something much harder. Undeterred by the lack of beatdowns several eager gig-goers transform the room into a dancefloor. Good form gentlemen.

Essex boys, Create To Inspire, much like their tour mates also released a record this year. They’re still very much a new band but this second EP is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. Title track, ‘Home Is Where My Heart Dies’, about as cliché melodic hardcore as they come, excites the audience. “Get the fuck over here and give me a cuddle you bastards” exclaims Sean Midson, and much to the delight of the front man many crowd members gladly obliged. Lapping up every riff and unrivalled in popularity, Create To Inspire prove to be the highlight of the night. When the beatdowns do arrive the modest crowd lose their minds, flying limbs, all in good fun mind, dominate the floor. Culminating in the biggest singalongs of the night Midson barely has the microphone in his has hands whilst ‘Halfway Home’ is played, definitely a fan favourite and an excellent way to end the set.