LIVE: Young Guns / Black Foxxes / Dead! / SHVPES @ Old Blue Last, London

By Jess Tagliani

It may be Bonfire Night and everyone may be lighting fireworks up and down the country, but elsewhere, namely at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, one hundred people have crammed themselves into a box of a venue to see some different kinds of explosions. For the last couple of days, Community LDN has been running: a new type of festival, where venues within East London host a multitude of bands that are ‘Ones to Watch’ in 2016.

Birmingham’s SHVPES kick off tonight’s proceedings, crushing speed and aggression together to create brutal, furious riffs and breakdowns in the form of ‘State Of Mind’. Frontman Griffin Dickinson throws himself across the room time and time again, delivering his strong and steady vocals to the packed room. SHVPES are certainly a fresh and exciting band and, with a new album in the works, are definitely ones to watch.

Dead! have really pipped people’s interest lately, and it’s not difficult to understand why when they launch into a frenzied set. With a vocalist that looks like the love child of The 1975’s Matt Healy and a sound that’s reminiscent of the late My Chemical Romance, they really know how to work the room. Tracks like ‘We Are Dead!’ and ‘Skin’ are huge, fleshed out with riffs that simply roar. The band’s presence is also huge as is their confidence, which is sultry and swaggering. They’re far too big for this tiny stage, and deserve to be playing to bigger rooms.

Black Foxxes have graced Shoreditch with their presence tonight, as they’re currently in the middle of writing and recording a new album. They sound incredibly tight and fresh as they blaze through a rather short but very sweet set. They’re loud, imposing, and incredibly gifted. Their riffs are razor-sharp, and sweetly complement their thunderous drum work. Black Foxxes are a well-oiled and slick machine, ensuring that no gimmicks are involved with their brand of unique and unflinching rock music.

Headliners Young Guns simply shine from the start. They play a varied catalogue, dusting off old tracks such as ‘Daughter Of the Sea’ for a rousing sing-along, whilst showcasing newer tracks, such as the electrifying ‘Daylight’. Frontman Gustav Wood bounces across the stage constantly, with a smile plastered across his face, as they crunch out blistering tracks that are full of power. They combine catchy hooks and melodic choruses to bring ‘Winter Kiss’, whilst ‘Stitches’ is poignant.

Whilst they may not necessarily be ‘Ones to Watch’, Young Guns have been a sheer delight tonight, which is shown by their fans dedication – one girl proudly declared that she’s been to 52 of their shows so far since the beginning of their career. As they sign off the adrenaline-fuelled ‘Bones’, it’s clear that Young Guns aren’t going to be leaving anytime soon.


Photo not taken at The Old Blue Last