Live: Creeper @ 229, London

By Adam Rosario

Some bands create fan bases that become movements. The originals of this mantra were My Chemical Romance and, more recently, twenty one pilots. Bands who transcend the line between fan and lifestyle. After a year away, Creeper announced this show under the guise of the ‘Fugitives of Heaven’ – officially ending the Callous Hearts era of the band and setting off a rocket for the next era. 

Throughout the venue tonight, the energy is palpable. People talking and laughing together, preparing for one of the most promising bands in the world today. When the curtain drops, the band are illuminated in all white – except front man Will Gould, who sports a suit and a very new hairstyle, making his Ian Curtis influence very apparent.

Launching into ‘VCR’, the band clearly have no rust on them after their time away. The tightness of the performance is undeniable, sounding like a band who’ve been touring for a year before this show. When ‘Suzanne’ follows, the limbs start flying, the voices get louder, and the band feed off this. Gould has gained a new dimension as a front man, full of swagger and sass in equal measure, and starting to look like a man who was born to be on stage. The crowd fully play their part as they scream all the lyrics back, adding harmonies to sing with Hannah Greenwood’s backing vocals, and it’s a fast start to the evening. 

“We’ve got so much to tell you but we can’t just now…” is just one of the teasing phrases Gould says to the crowd. A new song does make its debut, though, in the form of ‘Born Cold’; the first sonic evidence of Creeper’s new era. This is where Gould’s new confidence shines brightest, and with a glam-rock canvas behind him, his vocals take the song into new territory. By the time the second chorus comes, the crowd are already singing it back. If this new song is anything to go by, the year off hasn’t stunted the band’s creativeness in any way, shape, or form. When old favourites ‘Winona Forever’ and ‘Black Mass’ are aired, it ratifies that this is a band on the up, able to take influence from their past whilst creating new sounds that will see them shooting up the festival bills.

When Greenwood takes to the front of the stage to sing ‘Crickets’, the energy in the room shifts. The phone torches come out, a gentle sway washes through the crowd, and the voices get louder. Having a talented vocalist can really make the difference for a band, but Creeper are able to boast two, and use them both to maximum effect. ‘Black Rain’ provides another moment for this band as Gould reappears, clad in all white to match the rest of the band, and the crowd creating the biggest circle pit of the night… Until ‘Poison Pens’ rumbles out of the speakers with its full throttle punk speed, that is.

The main set closes with a thunderous ‘Down Below’ with the band faking the end three times, keeping the crowd waiting, before one of the best songs of this decade brings the tears and the screams. ‘Misery’ is a special kind of song, one that can bring out the goosebumps from the first note, with melancholic lyrics that are relatable to every single person in the room. The crowd sing almost the whole song, the band looking amazed at the power their song has as it brings strangers together, arm in arm. 

A two song encore consisting of ‘Hiding With Boys’ and ‘I Choose To Live’ really encapsulates the band in two songs. The energy of the punk rock the band trade in, matched by one of the biggest choruses in their catalogue. Ending on ‘I Choose To Live’ closes the first night of this new era with a positive message. When a band takes time off, there are always doubts that creep in. Will people care when they return? Are they still going to be relevant? These questions do not apply to Creeper. This is still one of the most important young bands from the UK, heading into their sophomore album, perfectly poised to take the world by storm. Whilst tonight they were the ‘Fugitives of Heaven’, they were, unmistakably, Creeper.