Comeback Kid / The Ghost Inside / Kvelertak / Gravemaker / Social Suicide

20 April 2011

ULU, London


At first glance this might look like an odd show for Rockers Digest to be covering, but it was Norway that drew us here tonight in the form of Kvelertak and Social Suicide.


First up tonight were indeed Norwegian’s Social Suicide.  Shoved onto the stage a mere fifteen minutes after the doors opened the four piece open with Broken Pilgrims to a sparse crowd at the ungodly hour of 6.50pm.  This didn’t seem to affect Social Suicide who put in 100% effort for the duration of their set.  It’s post-hardcore on a knife edge, chaotic in sound, but with a band clearly in control of their sound.


Wirey frontman Sondre Haug invited those at the back to come and dance with him prior to Death Of New Kings and as that song melted into Harlots & Prophets, Haug leapt into the crowd running backwards and forwards in the open space, continuing to screech out his vocals.  By the time of the band’s most straight forward offering 5th Man On A Dead Man’s Grave wrapped up the set, the venue was filling nicely and the band left to a warm response.


Social Suicide setlist:

Broken Pilgrims / Mail From The Watchtower / Death Of New Kings / Harlots & Prophets / Martyricon / Enemy Cave / 5th Man On A Dead Man’s Grave


Social Suicide Social Suicide Social Suicide


With his hood up on his hoodie, Jon McRae took to the stage and announced “We are Gravemaker from Vancouver, Canada”, but to be honest they could have been from New York judging from the NYHC style sound.  Halfway into opener Vlad The Impaler I was sent scurry backwards as two kung-fu style dancing fans parted the crowd like Moses with the Red Sea.  On stage McRae prowled as bassist Jason Bailey leaped high in the air.  Meanwhile drummer Wayne Peterson looked like he’d taken offence to his kit and decided to kill it.  Actually his style reminded me of the famed “This Drummer is at the wrong gig” clip on YouTube.


On the downside, Kai Turmann’s guitar was too low in the mix meaning the brutality wasn’t as cutting as you would hope, though the speedy Hell Followed did not disappoint, with McRae demanding us to “Stir this shit up London!”.  If you liked them you could take one home!  McRae explained he’d lost his passport in Germany and had to go to the Canadian consulate tomorrow, asking if he could crash at someone’s house.


Gravemaker setlist:

Vlad The Impaler / Drop The Torch / Wreckage / Sever Thy Head / I Won’t Belong / Ghosts Among Men / Hell Followed / Stronghold / Time Heals Nothing


Gravemaker Gravemaker Gravemaker


This was our fourth encounter with Kvelertak and repeated sightings are certainly not yielding diminishing returns.  Quite simply the Norwegians are one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen.  The word has been spreading and stints on the road opening for other bands such as tonight and Coliseum late last year is seeing Kvelertak pick up many fans.  It’s quite a jump to go from playing the Strongbow Stage at Sonisphere last year to the second stage at Download later this year.


Whilst this is a well rehearsed set, in fact the same as supporting Coliseum, it feels neither forced nor dialled in.  On the contrary 30 minutes with Kvelertak is a breathless experience for the fans and seemingly the band who depart drenched in sweat.  Frontman Erlend Hjelvik made numerous trips into the photopit, clambered up onto the speaker stack and during closer Mjød dived into the crowd.


Whilst the scene is chaotic, Kvelertak retain a tight grip on their delivery, particularly impressive given they boast three guitarists.Vidar Landa’s lack of plectrum particularly caught my attention tonight with the guitarist’s style akin to clawing at the strings.Meanwhile Maciek Ofstad, resplendent in a Death shirt, wielded his guitar with such vigour that other band members risked a black eye should they stray too near.


Once again a fabulous performance from Kvelertak and my only complaint is that they need to stop printing such good merchandise as there appears to be 2 or 3 new t-shirts crying out to be bought each time we see them!


Kvelertak setlist:

Fossegrim / Sjøhyenar (Havets Herrer) / Blodtørst / Offernatt / Ulvetid / Nekroskop / Ordsmedar av Rang / Mjød


Kvelertak Kvelertak Kvelertak


Whilst Johan obtained photos and indeed the setlists provided below, the bands we were here for had played and, not particularly being my cup of tea, I didn’t spend much time watching The Ghost Inside nor Comeback Kid.



The Ghost Inside setlist:

Faith Or Forgiveness / Between The Lines / Overlooked / The Brave / Greater Distance / Chrono / Downbeat / Provoke / Destined / Unspoken


The Ghost Inside The Ghost Inside The Ghost Inside 


Comeback Kid setlist:

All In A Year / False Idols Fall / Do Yourself A Favor / Broadcasting… / G.M. Vincent & I / Die Tonight / Talk Is Cheap / Because Of All / Partners In Crime / Hailing On Me / Step Ahead / Changing Face / The Trouble I Love / Wake The Dead / Final Goodbye


Come Back Kid Come Back Kid Come Back Kid