LIVE: Energy / Miss Vincent @ The Booking Hall, Dover

By Glen Bushell

While it may not feel like it, Energy have been a band for over 10 years. Driven by the dark tales of primary songwriter Jason Tankerly, they channel that early AFI and Nerve Agents vibe that so many miss and truthfully, they should be a far bigger band than they are. However the general populous’ loss is the known’s gain, as tonight in Dover Energy prove they are one of the best kept secrets the US punk scene as to offer.

Before that, Southampton’s Miss Vincent take to the stage, and play this small corner stage like they are headlining Brixton Academy. There some notable comparisons to another certain goth punk band from the south coast, but Miss Vincent deal more in fast-paced punk rock than theatrics. Vocalist Alex Marshall is a consummate frontman, which even if it may come across a little contrived at times, makes Miss Vincent feel larger than life. The tracks aired from their latest EP, ‘Somewhere Else’, show the start of something special, and before long they will be undertaking headline tours in bigger venues on their own.

When Energy take to the stage, Tankerly instantly shows his gratitude to the faithful that have made it out tonight, before launching into the frantic ‘Keep The Change’. It shows Energy’s early beginnings from the mid ‘00s Boston hardcore scene, and sits perfectly against the gloomy rock of the title track from their latest released, ‘Under The Mask’. The latter is one of the standout moments of their set as it is so different to the rest of their catalogue, owing more to Danzig and Ghost than it does Misfits.

Tankerly writhes around the stage baiting the audience at every opportunity. His vocal range is note perfect through the doo-wop swagger of the intoxicating murder ballad, ‘I Killed Your Boyfriend’ and brings a certain mysticism to Energy’s lyrical content, making you wonder what is going on inside his head. The double attack of ‘Leave Me Alone’ and ‘They’ towards the end of the set open a crooked door into Tankerly’s psyche, before ‘The Witching Hour’ closes the performance and leaves you wanting more.

Energy deserve to be on bigger stages and their music has the ability to capture the black hearts of people on a much wider scale. However, if it is just the underground that is in their future when you look into the crystal ball, they play with a passion that so many bands lack, and they could learn a thing or two from them.