SHVPES @ The Flapper, 22nd October 2018

Tonight is cold. Big thick coat time, but it’s worth venturing out to see these guys.  

Ok, their last album dropped 2 years ago, they have had a lot of play time lately.  Gig time has included a late slot  at Download Festival as well as this tour with Hawthorne Heights. The previous album was a hit amongst some, while others questioned whether or not Griffins ‘Rap’ vocals fitted with the rest of the band’s music.    The addition of Griffin to the band was a fantastic choice and it shows, especially in the new music which is currently pre-released (certain tracks on Apple Music and others).

Opening tonight we have Mark Rose with an intimate solo guitar which was pretty sweet. It is a million miles different to what we are about to see with SHVPES. We can see SHVPES setting up on stage, and The Flapper at first feels like it is too small for them.  Our love for this venue is tenfold and tonight with what is possibly the busiest crowd I have ever seen here it affirms that it is a top music venue that the city needs to keep.  For those that know what’s going on and live locally please continue to support this great venue.

Onto the performance, Griffin races out and straight into the opening track of their upcoming album Greater Than. This has undertones with dirty guitar riffs, energetic loud riffs and a heavy bass. There is a catchy and infectious chorus which allows Griffin to moves up and down on the monitors leaning out into the crowd and engaging with the photographers at the front.  The crowd laugh as he holds a photographers camera into his crotch as he continues to sing (completely in jest of course) both he and the fans as are roaring the lyrics. 

Moving into more melodic State of Mine, doesn’t see any slowing down. Screaming lyrics go down a treat and a number of instrumentals focus the skill of Yousef.  He plays great riffs as you see his face emoting the squeals and occasional hair flicks.  Sadly the lights are fairly low on him which make this hard to capture. 

Grant tears up the bass all the way through.   He makes the bass line fun.   This is an integral part of the band, not just the sound but the visibility.  There is ample chemistry on stage and in the music.  The band gel well together and last but not least Ryan shredding that guitar!  He keeps himself to himself throughout.  

The tempo steps up and gets more emotive for Skin & Bones from their previous album.  This is unquestionably a great track, loved by all with its meaning many can relate to about school times and the world is cruel.   The songs has a sorrowful feel about it, though the roars to start feel like trying to escape before the softer fused chorus comes in.  I love this track and tonight its played well.  Finishing on Afterlife and Calloused hands sees everyone lose themselves.   I guess this has the overwhelming feeling and a sense of being smothered by sound.  The vocals almost sound like a cry for help easily my favourite track, LOUD!! Of course. 

For those that do not know,  The band have suffered from some negativity surrounding them due a band member having a successful father, also a musician. Well, let me dispel that myth, yes, his dads band maybe awesome and have a great catalogue of tracks.  But this is SHVPES whose music, style and performance are all completely developed, created and gelled themselves.   They are immensely fun and energetic, this upcoming album will show SHVPES continuing on their endless adventure. 

I got to chat to the lads at the end of the show.   They are great guys, welcoming  and eager to mix with their fans.   Nothing appears to be too much trouble for them and they said that Birmingham was their best show of the tour to date.  Pat on the back Birmingham for supporting the scene and showing them what we are made of!

Set List


State of Mine

Skin & Bones

Someone Else

Two Minutes of Hate


Calloused Hands

Reviewer and Photographer: Chris Bowley 

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