Beartooth + The Color Morale + Dead Harts (Anvil, Bournemouth – 19/05/15) ★★★★★

By: editor

Generally you expect the quality of a gig to rise as you make your way through the line up, culminating in the moment everyone has been waiting for, the headliners. Tonight though, we reach that high point of this sold out show very early on, but rather than go downhill, somehow this level of awesomeness is sustained from start to finish.

First up are Dead Harts, hailing from Sheffield, they are the only band tonight from these fair shores. Riding in on a wave of F-Bombs, lead heavy guitars and a sea of heads (quite literally, complete with body board making regular trips around the ceiling beneath one ecstatic member of the crowd or another). By the first song they have already incited a circle pit. By the second song, vocalist Bax is getting more closely acquainted with the ceiling atop a sea of hands. In a venue this size it’s crazy to see this sort of response to the opening band! But it’s well deserved, Dead Harts deliver a weighty, almost apocalyptic brand of hardcore through one of the most exciting live performances I think I’ve ever witnessed, leaving the unmistakable aroma of sweat lingering in the air as the dust settles. The goosebumps remain.

Representing the US, The Color Morale bring some melody to proceedings. Some clean vocals to accompany the guttural screams. They are also shockingly polite by comparison to what came before them. None of that Sheffield expletive laden charm. The Color Morale love you all very much and they demand you know about it. They may break out all the Americanisms here, dedicating songs to emotions, declarations of love and appreciation, but that’s not to say the music they play tonight is any less designed to get bodies flailing and heads banging. There’s riffs here that were made for moshing, and the crowd duly delivers.

Beartooth however, need no introductions to this crowd and minimal need for between song banter. It becomes abundantly clear by the sudden swelling of the crowd, stretching to half way up the stairs, who they’re here to see. The band don’t leave them hanging either, kicking straight in to their frantic mix of raw screaming, catchy choruses and towering instrumentals.

The body board is back.

It’s safe to say that everyone here is going bat shit crazy for these guys. At one point the crowd starts bouncing so high I worry heads are going to go through the ceiling. But in terms of crowd madness, the icing on the cake is still to come. The icing being their guitarist Kam, the cake being the crowd, as he rides their hands on his back whilst continuing to play flawlessly. The whole band play with a tightness that can only come from relentless gigging, these guys are working hard and it’s paying off!

But the choruses. Oh, the choruses! When I first heard single In Between, I couldn’t help but imagine the song along moments that chorus could lead. I was so right. The whole crowd singing in unison with the band, it’s a beautiful moment and one I can’t help but envy seeing happen through the band’s eyes. To have something you’ve created sang back at you with such passion has to be the best feeling in the world.

Beartooth give everything they have tonight. Literally. They actually run out of songs to play, re-christening their parting gift Body Bag as the encore so as to not cheat all the friends they’ve made tonight. The energy hasn’t let up once since Dead Harts hit go, everyone leaves with a huge great smile on their face and I can’t help but feel like I’ve just been a part of something special. Bournemouth has been spoilt here…maybe our live music scene isn’t dying after all. So, let’s do it again some time.



Beartooth’s Facebook,

The Color Morale Facebook,

Dead Harts Facebook



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