It's party time in Camden as everyone's favourite Japanese techno-metal nutters, Crossfaith, aim to follow up their splendid support of Sheffield heavyweights, Bring me the Horizon. Just around the corner at the Koko, a mere 24 hours ago, Crossfaith were tearing it up and forcing people into rave-induced comas. Tonight, however, the stage is their own and they intend to prove their dominance.
Fiery, hardcore upstarts, Polar (7) start the show with all the fury and swagger that they can muster, which is surprisingly quite a bit as they begin their set in an almost empty room. Doors were unusually slow going as bastard touts were moving tickets between hands for extortionate fees. Soon enough,the floor began to fill and it only spurred on a spirited performance from the Surrey based mob. Frontman Adam does his best to summon up some havoc and gets everyone involved as he screams and bounces around the stage. As their time draws to a close, they finally have some people in front of them and their persistence and rage has won them some new fans.
Bands like the bonkers We Butter the Bread with Butter (7) are difficult to place on a bill as they don't really sound like anything that you have heard before. If I was asked to categorise them, I would probably need a scotch and a lie down beforehand. Their Facebook page describes them as 'Hot Deathpop'... Exactly. Whatever they are, they are great fun live with their brutal blastbeats, wailing synths and beachballs thrown in for good measure. The material from the relatively new 'Projekt Herz EP' really amps everything up a notch or three and their less than subtle blend of heavy electronica and beatdowns incite chaos in the Underworld. Vocalist Paul Bartzsch is really making the job his own after joining the band a couple of years ago and has everyone in the palm of his hand. Cutting the stage lights and putting torches on their jackets adds to the eclectic stage show leaving you with the feeling of not knowing what will happen next. The Crossfaith crowd almost immediately endear the German party-machine and it's only their second show in our fair capital. Sehr gut!
Continuing the celebration of musical worlds colliding are Milton Keynes grime-djentsters, Hacktivist (8). With the flames suitably stoked and a crowd baying for more, Hacktivist saunter onto the stage and deliver a set fuelled by bounce and swagger. The politically-charged new track 'Elevate' sees middle fingers raised and beers chugged, the guitarist with a lot of strings Timfy James does a great job with his pummelling low-end riffing and gets feet off the ground. A cover of Jay-Z's 'Niggers in Paris' gets more people singing along than you would think.
J Hurley and Ben Marvin are on crowd control duty and strut around deploying smart rhymes and flow smartly over the complex time signatures. Maybe my ears just aren't accustomed to grime/rap vocals, but I still don't see the need for two vocalists. That small complaint aside, we are witnessing the rise of a great young band that seems to be gaining fans from all ends of the musical spectrum. They are a band on the grow and have burst into the spotlight at the perfect time for them, they should have a solid fanbase to unleash an album onto which will push them on up the ladder. With performances like this, the sky is the limit for Hacktivist.
Finally it is time for the reason we are all here... Crossfaith (9)!!! Before the intro to 'Monolith' can even finish, everybody rushes forward and a surge of adrenaline pulses through Camden. We have seen some good bands here tonight and Crossfaith put to bed any questioning of their ability within seconds. Rarely slowing down or allowing you time to think, they pummel everyone with anthem after anthem of booze-drenched fun. It is easy to see why Bring me the Horizon were given a run for their money the night before. The whole band is completely nuts and that only spurs on more carnage.
Although they have only released one EP in the UK, the older songs get a great response and dropping a cover of the Prodigy's 'Omen' sends the place into a state of delirium. Not a single person stood still and this will be the first of many headline shows for the Crossfaith, partly because they are an infectiously awesome band and partly because who wants to be upstaged by a support band every night? The queue on the doors suggests that this will be their last show in a venue this size as the mass-appeal of the band spreads through many communities. I mean, how could you not love a song called 'Jager-bomb'?