The Chariot + MyChildren MyBride + Odessa + Deceiver @ Birmingham Academy 3, 20th March 2011


There’s an impressive queue outside the Academy 3 when I arrive, so impressive in fact that I miss the first half of Deceivers‘ set.

The Birmingham band play some straight up hardcore, similar to a lot of others out there, although the occasional metal lead guitar lick does enter the occasion. Lead vocalist Kieran Murphy stomps about the stage with huge energy, commanding the crowd well for a band that is playing its first show. It’s clear though that his voice is starting to give out towards the end of the set. This doesn’t stop him jumping the barrier to help get the crowd throwing down. The rest of the band play well, but suffer from first show nerves and don’t move around too much, and there’s a couple moments where they seem a little unsure. Hopefully a few more shows will sort them out.


Odessa are up next, also local boys, and clearly have quite a fan base as the pit opens up from the first note. It’s not long before the vocalist is down the front letting the audience do the screaming for him. Again the music is pretty much just hardcore, a little more developed than Deceiver, but it’s all about the power over the complexity here. The band is energetic, throwing themselves around the stage, and really putting some passion into the music, this transfers over to the audience who keep the pit open with flying fists for the entirety. The band play a solid set, it’s tight and powerful and really helps to set the mood for the coming bands.


There’s clearly a good crowd here for MyChildren MyBride, the tension really rising before the band hit the stage, a good cheer going up as they ran on. This band are a lot more metal than the others on the bill. Using a triggered bass drum means the double pedal powers through at all times, and it really works for them. They play impressive licks with incredible tightness, which seems impossible the amount the band are moving. The vocalist and bassist provide most of the energy on stage, while the crowd is happy to keep the fists swinging. The front few rows are screaming along as well, and front-man Matthew lends them the mic to keep a real intimate feel to the gig. The problem with the violent pit is it left a big gap between the front rows and those standing further back, a problem only made worse by the starting of a circle pit, as people took a step back for only a handful of people to join in. It was an impressive set, and a good break from the hardcore of the night.


If you had only one word to describe The Chariot set, I’m sure everyone there would agree: Intense. The band don’t do anything by halves, they truly smash it. Starting from a massive discord, the bassist immediately throws himself into the crowd, the first of many trips for the band members over the shoulders of crowd. It’s brutal, and it’s fast, perfect for the guys in the pit to get rowdy to. While the band are sloppy, it’s entirely intentional – it’s hard to play the guitar perfectly when you’re throwing it around by the strap. It’s a wonder that no one on stage is bleeding at the end with the guitars flying around.


At one point, vocalist Josh Scogin takes up the bass and starts to play Seven Nation Army, by The White Stripes. While this is happening, the bassist is carried upright to the sound desk and back, and one of the guitarist, Stevis, has hopped the barrier to play along at the risk of a few battered fans. There’s some brilliant moments where the unusual samples cut in, mostly 40’s wartime songs, and the odd quote chucked into the mix as well. It’s a very grounding experience, and excellent in so many ways, but to conclude: Intense.

Review – Ben Duff
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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