LIVE: Gerard Way and the Hormones / No Devotion @ Brixton Academy

By Adam Rosario

This whole tour has been a celebration. A celebration of bright new pastures for both artists on this tour which draws to a close here at this historical venue. From the ashes of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way has created the album he always wanted to. For No Devotion, their journey was a hell of a lot harder. After the horror stories of 2, nearly 3 years ago, the remaining members of Lostprophets have found a new singer in Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, and have found a new sound. Both acts compliment each other, both with their own brand of Britpop sounding rock and roll.

The simple way to sum up No Devotion’s set would be incredible. Less than a year old, and you’d be hard pressed to find a band this young in their band life that are as tight as these guys. Rickly’s vocals layer over the canvas the band create with their Joy Division inspired rock. Having only released four songs so far, it’s amazing to see how good they are. Lead single ‘Stay’ sounds ready for stadiums already, and will definitely be a highlight of any festival set that they play in the future. ‘Eyeshadow’ swaggers with indie-pop goodness, and with a fantastic guitar solo, is the highlight of the set. Stand in drummer Phillip Jenkins (former Kids In Glass Houses) looks as if he’s been a part of the band for their whole life, not just a tour. ‘Condition’ and the epic ‘Grand Central’ show that No Devotion are going to be a big deal. A very big deal, and you should jump on the train as soon as possible.

Sporting silver-blonde hair, Gerard Way proves that there really aren’t many better frontman in the world right now. From the first step on stage, to the last chord of the second encore, he has the whole of Brixton Academy in his hands. And boy, does he know how to put on a show. Opening with two new songs, ‘Cheap Lights’ and ‘Kid Nothing’, Way has his way with the crowd, strutting around stage, getting the crowd involved. The crowd is almost breathless by the time ‘Zero Zero’ arrives and it’s only the third song in. Where No Devotion play Indie-Disco-Pop, Way draws influence from Blur and Pulp, adding a glam mark to their brand of Britpop. The riffs served up by his backing band, The Hormones, sound massive live. It can’t be understated that live, they are essential to the show. Having the crowd involved is one thing, but for ‘Get The Gang Together’, Way pulls a fan up called Laura, who guests on tambourine and looks so excited she may have a heart attack throughout. ‘No Shows’ brings the main set to a close, before the first encore double punch of first single ‘Action Cat’ and ‘Don’t Try’ wring the crowd of the last of their energy. The band then reappear, and the master of this show, brings out his cover of ‘Snakedriver’ originally by The Jesus and Mary Chain, to bring this fantastic show to an end.

Gerard Way will always be the singer of My Chemical Romance, the spokesman of a generation and the leader of one of the world’s most important bands. Now he’s doing the music he wants to, and long may he continue. The new material is as good as his standout debut album. Very well done to a consummate professional and all round star.