LIVE: Devil Sold His Soul, Bad Sign, FOES @ Tufnell Park Dome, London

By James Davenport

Almost ten years to the day since Devil Sold His Soul first unleashed their debut album ‘A Fragile Hope’ into the world, and the band are revisiting the past this evening by performing the album in its entirety. Once announced, the dates for this anniversary tour started to sell out quickly and tonight’s show is no exception which included a venue upgrade due to popular demand. The sold out show at London’s Tufnell Park Dome, is slowly filling up to bursting point. The fans, a healthy mix of old and new alike, seem to have an air of excitement and anticipation about them, although there’s also a hint of scepticism about how tonight’s show will play out.

Kicking things off this evening are Liverpool based label mates, Foes. With a sound that falls somewhere between stoner and post-rock, Foes initially sound as though they might be better suited performing down the road at this year’s Desertfest but they soon refute that statement. Filling the room with soaring vocals, huge build ups and crushing crescendos, Foes manage to make this venue feel the size of a stadium. Right off the bat one thing is clear; that this evening’s gig is all about creating a specific atmosphere.

Also performing tonight are Bad Sign, another band from the Basick Records roster. Bad Sign flirt with various different genres creating an end product that’s a heavily guitar driven, high energy outburst with the enormity of a Muse and Royal Blood hybrid. Considering that Bad Sign are only a three piece, they manage to exude an impressive wall of sound and finish their set atop the speaker stacks, thus proving themselves a tough act to follow.

It seems only right that the room is then plunged into darkness as the thunderous chimes of ‘In The Absence of Light’ begin to rumble through the speakers. There’s a deadly silence and a thick and heavy tension in the air as the instrumental track builds up and up. “RUN!”.

In an instant both band and crowd scream the first word of the aptly named ‘As The Storm Unfolds’. Devil Sold His Soul are flawless and anyone who was captivated by their debut album a decade ago is transported right back to that moment as they perform each track note for note perfect. The most noticeable difference in this performance however is that it includes both vocal stylings of DSHS’s original vocalist Ed Gibbs, as well as current frontman Paul Green. With their voices complimenting one another harmoniously, any preconceptions or doubts about the two frontmen performing together are totally erased. Their encore includes one of the band’s more recent singles ‘Time’, showing that both Ed and Paul have both respectfully put the leg work in to learn the other’s lyrics before heading out on this tour.

Throughout the performance there’s a powerful light show, varied reds, blues and an immeasurable amount of flashing strobe lighting means we barely ever actually catch a glimpse of the band members other than their distinctive silhouettes. If tonight was about creating an atmosphere, then Devil Sold His Soul have achieved it with flying (and flashing) colours.

As DSHS work their way through the album, clocking in at just under an hour, there’s no letting up. There’s high energy levels from both the band and crowd which further proves just how much this album means to everyone in the room. It’s a special evening and DSHS give one of, if not their best performance to date, one that will surely never be forgotten by those lucky enough to have witnessed it. Inevitably Devil end their set with the album’s closing track ‘Hope’.  For the duration of which the crowd, with their hands on their hearts, move forward in waves to sing back “and I know that we’ll be just fine” at the band. Generating huge walls of sound and contrasting moments of almost blissful silence, Devil Sold His Soul have demonstrated why they as a band, their debut album and musical footprint have stood the test of time. They’ve created a lasting impression and one that’s been such an inspiration to so many over the past decade. Long may they continue.