The more I go The Talking Heads, the more I like it as a venue. This visit I was given a new reason to be favourable to it. Gig venues as a rule charge too much for drinks. If it is a gig venue which rarely hosts gigs and is closed more often than not, then I guess that is fair enough as they won’t get much of a discount on their bulk buying. However, I’ve been to venues in London which charged £4 for a can of beer, and one in Portsmouth which charges £3.95 a pint of beer. The Talking Heads charges £3.20 for a Carlsberg or Fosters pint which is fair for a gig venue I guess. However, they were selling bottles of Fosters Gold for £1.50 a bottle. As a result, I got nicely drunk during the gig which isn’t something that happens very often. However, I have 2 more planned visits to the Talking Heads this side of Christmas, and hopefully at least two more in 2012. I really like the venue.
However, alcohol prices aside, I like the venue as a whole. The layout (aside from one pillar...) is superb in my opinion with a standing area (where there is a table) and a raised area where the bar is, but there are more tables for people to sit if they so wish. The atmosphere when I’ve been before has always been good. I had previously attributed that to people being in a good, relaxed mood as they were going to see Ginger from the Wildhearts. While I am sure that is the case, the people for this gig were also in a good, relaxed mood which meant there was a positive buzz in the room. This is always a good thing before a gig.
I might be crucified for this, but I can’t remember the name of the opening band. I think (!) it was Terraform, but I don’t know that for sure. Damn you alcohol! Anyway, they were really good (which is what makes my memory fail worse). They seemed to be a decent hardcore/thrashy type band that is very tight live. The lead singer kept taking jaunts into the crowd throughout the set which was quite entertaining. They were very enjoyable. The second band one was Savage Messiah who much like Evile were a thrash band. They were also really good. I think their main problem was their lead singer’s banter in-between songs. He was saying things like “here’s a song, you won’t have heard of it” and “you won’t know this one”. Admittedly, I didn’t know a great deal of their set but I did a little research of them before the gig on Spotify. They may not be a massive band by any means, but don’t come on stage saying “hey, you don’t know us!” – it seemed to be a very strange attitude to have. Musically fine, but that bugged me. It was at this point I saw the members of Evile in the crowd, who all walked passed me to get on stage.
The tour was in support of their new album, so unsurprisingly, Evile came on stage and started off with the title track from their new album, Five Serpents Teeth before breaking into the classic that is Killer From The Deep. It was clear that Evile were going to be superb early on. What followed was a setlist made up mostly of songs from the new album with a couple of classics from the previous two albums. In-between some songs, there was some on stage talk which the front man from Savage Messiah should take note of. Firstly, Matt Drake expressed surprised about how many people showed up. Hopefully they had a good attendance at Brighton as well so they’ll consider coming back to the south more often (Wedgewood Rooms next time? Please!) There was also some banter between band members after Ol Drake thanked the venue staff and supporting bands, so Matt promoted him to vocalist – it was funny stuff. The new material all sounded superb but special mentions have to go to Eternal Empire and Cult. Both songs are stand out songs on the album and are stunning live. Cult will probably become one of my favourite songs by Evile. 10 songs into the set, Evile announced they were going to play one more song and it was up to the fans. Now, on previous setlists for this tour (the album launch shows), they finished the set off with Armoured Assault. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it on previous reviews where I’ve seen Evile at festivals but I am desperate to hear them play this song live. It was the song which got me into Evile! Anyway, the choice was Armoured Assault or Enter The Grave. Armoured Assault maybe had 2 or 3 (me included) vote for it so Enter The Grave was played. I love Enter The Grave but come on! Will I ever see Armoured Assault live?! I fear not.
The gig was superb. Evile were on top form and the new album sounds really good live. They said on stage they were very proud of it and from what I heard, they have every right to be. I hope as they do more shows and more headline tours, they play longer sets. They played 11 songs in Southampton and I’m sure they could have played more. Other than that, and them not playing Armoured Assault (again!), I have no complaints. Go see Evile on this tour if you can, you won’t regret it (assuming you like them. If you don’t, well go anyway!)
Next review will be at the end of the month for The Answer and Volbeat. Probably will be one review as they are 2 days apart. We’ll see