Never Say Die Tour – Newcastle City Hall

By Andy

*Academy, Newcastle, not City Hall as above*

As the many tattoo-covered-garish-t-shirt-clad-ear-lobe-stretched fans snaked their way into the main room of Newcastle’s Academy, the hordes of bands waited in the wings to carry on the Never Say Die assault on Britain. Headed up by Australian stalwarts of the metalcore scene Parkway Drive this promised to be a show of full on intensity. After managing to miss the opening two acts due to the early start of 5pm upon entering the academy it became clear that ticket sales hadn’t gone that well as the venue was sparsely occupied.

That said St Albans’ own YOUR DEMISE did more to wake the audience from their slumber with a pounding half hour set. The Southern five-piece tore into the stage with an energy that was going to be hard to beat. The new material from their latest album ‘The Kids We Used To Be…’ received a good reception and as the windmills gave way to a 2-step, Your Demise set a good precedent for the rest of tonight’s bill. A solid opening set from a rising star in the UK hardcore scene even if they did produce t-shirts with Justin Bieber’s mug on it. [4/5]

Next up was veterans of the metalcore scene, Orange County’s BLEEDING THROUGH. Unlike Your Demise they took longer than expected to warm this crowd up with some punters looking up and wondering who they actually were and why they had a keyboard when it looked surplus to requirements. Aside from that Bleeding Through treated their old school fans to excellent renditions of ‘Orange County Blonde & Blue’ and ‘Declaration’. Finally the crowd rallied into a huge circle pit for closing song ‘Kill To Believe’ before Bleeding Through made way. [3/5]

Canadian’s COMEBACK KID took to the stage next and managed to grab this show by the jugular and not let go for a brutal 50 minute set. Opening on ‘False Idols Fall’ the intensity level was notched up to ten and finally the Newcastle crowd came to life. This isn’t just a performance, it’s a lesson in hardcore. Andrew Neufield’s vocals are huge and echo around the building while the drumming Kyle Profeta is inch perfect. Renditions of ‘Talk Is Cheap’ and ‘GM Vincent & I’ blow the room apart but this is only a prelude to the closing trio of ‘Do Yourself A Favour’, ‘Wake The Dead’ and ‘Final Goodbye’ which bring the house down. CBK are true masters of this genre. [5/5]

With the room now well and truly destroyed PARKWAY DRIVE had a lot to live up to and they aren’t able to replicate the sheer brilliance of Comeback Kid. Their set lacks momentum and it’s as if they’re simply plodding along even though it seems to be lapped up by the crowd. To sum up Parkway Drive‘s performance would be: fast, slow, fast, slow, breakdown, fast, slow, growl. Following Comeback Kid was always going to be hard but the Australians didn’t manage to make a dent in CBK’s shadow. [2/5]