LIVE: Together Fest – Gorilla Biscuits / Modern Life Is War + Special Guests @ Electric Ballroom, London

By James Davenport

This year saw a twelve date European tour otherwise known as ‘Togetherfest’ which was presented by  Kingstar and Four Artists. Starting off back in February in Leipzig, Germany and playing host to a fine selection of hardcore bands the tour ended with the final date, a sold out show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London.

To kick off the evening are Germany’s own GWLT who instantly take the unsuspecting punters by surprise as a wall of sound made up of a mix of classic rap & hip hop tracks suddenly emits from the PA system. As the band make their way onstage, each member moves to the front and strikes a military pose, hands crossed behind their backs and all. Starting their set with a rap delivered by singer David has left some of the crowd looking slightly bewildered, although any confused looks are soon wiped away as the band rip into a set of songs each tougher and harder than the last.

As their name suggests, Miles Away are the band that have travelled the furthest to be here tonight, originally hailing from Australia. Having released their album ‘Tide’ last year they race through a highly energetic and exciting set mostly made up of newer songs from both the aforementioned album as well as its predecessor ‘Endless Roads’.

Next up are a band that never seem to show any signs of slowing down, Touché Amoré. Having started off with a fairly cult following, the room is now jam packed proving their songs are obviously striking chords with a wider audience. Touché don’t sound exactly as they do on record, their live show brings a new dimension to some of their tracks but despite good energy levels throughout their set some of the songs through the mid-later half start to sound the same.

When Modern Life Is War take the stage it’s as though both the volume and energy in the crowd have been turned up to 11. Delivering a well balanced set of old and new songs, crowd favourites such as ‘The Outsiders’, ‘Chasing My Tail’ and ‘D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S’ are explosive as singer Jeffrey Eaton repeatedly takes running jumps and daring front somersaults over the gap between barrier and stage. Based on their unbeatable performance MLIW have stolen the show this evening despite some minor technical difficulties.

Having originally formed in 1987, it’s safe to say that Gorilla Biscuits are giants in their field and have paved the way for a majority of modern hardcore and punk bands. The difference in and variation of age groups throughout the crowd further proves that GB have safely secured themselves a place in music history with old and new fans alike. Opening with their infamous trumpet intro from ‘Start Today’, the bands only full length album to date, it’s not long before they’re tearing up the stage with their unique brand of old school punk and hardcore. “This venue is the only date on the tour with a fucking barrier!” yells singer Anthony “Civ” Civarelli before taking a minute to argue with the security team over that fact. Whether or not this is a tongue in cheek reference to the cover of Minor Threat’s ‘Minor Threat’ that follows is unclear. Regardless of a barrier and security team though, nothing can stop the lively and dynamic performance given by Gorilla Biscuits, who are proving that age really is just a number when it comes to giving it your all onstage.