Thursday, December 7, 2023

Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, Steak Number Eight @ The Borderline, London

Soho is a part of London that is renowned for being a vibrant and busy place but tonight, it feels even more so. Tonight there is a certain electricity in the air, a feeling that something special is about to happen. That feeling is as close to spot on as it could possibly get for tonight Feed The Rhino bring their first full headline tour to The Borderline. With the headliners taking support from Hildamay, Steak Number Eight & Marmozets this tour offers one of the heaviest and most sonically intense shows around currently.

Unfortunately, due to police based traffic issues in central London, by the time we arrived at the venue Hildamay had finished their opening set but reports from the other bands and crowd alike did nothing but sing their praises. Steak Number Eight however are filling the second slot with a fury and heaviness that’s not so much unexpected, more surprising. Their live feel bridges a gap somewhere between a very heavy Kyuss & A Perfect Circle with their tight and intense performance . Anyone at the back of the venue may also have seen Feed The Rhino guitarist Sam rocking out nearly as hard as the band themselves throughout their set. With a performance so enthralling it seems to be over in a matter of seconds Steak Number Eight leave the stage to give way to the always exciting Marmozets. Opening with Good Days, Marmozets waste no time, getting straight into it with sledgehammer subtlety. There is something encapsulating about singer Becca Macintyre‘s performance. Roaming the stage delivering vocal haymakers to each and every member of the crowd she commands a presence that is undeniable. As their set continues this only intensifies with songs such as Skin and Vexed sitting as particular highlights, the latter of which saw every member of the band, bar drummer Josh in the crowd at one point or another.

As the final moments of the Marmizets set ring out over the crowd there is a shift in atmosphere inside the venue. There’s an electricity in the air as smokers cram the cold streets getting their last fix before the final slot of this show. And then it begins. the twisted drum ‘n’ bass esque intro starts and tonight’s headliners take to the stage. It’s hard to tell which comes first, the end of their intro or singer Lee Tobin‘s first stage dive but as the band launch face first into opening song Flood The System The Borderline explodes into a frenzy of blood, sweat and flying people and its nothing short of spectacular. Tobin prowls the stage like an uncaged lion whilst guitarists Sam & James bass player Oz and drummer Chris provide street levelling waves of the tightest and most impressive performances. Second, third and fourth songs Nothing Lost, Knives & Mr Red Eye continue in this vein also but it’s when title track to their second album The Burning Sons arrives that things get really crazy. When introducing this song Tobin exclaims “I want to see carnage sweep like waves” and man alive does he get it! Earth shatteringly heavy renditions of this and Caller Of The Town follow before the pace slows a little for latest single Tides. An out of breath and battered frontman stands on the front monitors singing cleanly for the first time tonight but his lack of breath only goes to further the argument that there’s no other band in the UK at the moment that brings it as hard as Feed The Rhino. Following Tides is Left For Ruins and this picks the pace back up to levels most would consider dangerous. During this song there was a man seen leaving the pit with a gash in his head so deep it’s debatable wether you could see his brain or not and it seems to serve as the perfect symbol for this show. Nothing less than utter carnage from start to finish. As Left For Ruins comes to a close Tobin stands front and centre and defiantly shouts “fuck you we are playing one more” and demands a stage invasion that is so large that it becomes impossible for the band to move let alone start a song. Drums are toppled and guitarist James can be seen crouched over his peddle board hugging his guitar before an emptying of the stage is requested. Once the majority of the crowd are the right side of the barrier again, the band steamroll their way through The Butchers and bring everything to a close.

As crowd members are seen limping and stumbling out of the venue at the end of the night bloodied and covered in sweat and god only knows what else it’s so clear that they have witnessed something truly special this evening. A band that are renowned for their live performance and that are growing stronger with every show.

The Borderline was well and truly served tonight and if anyone has any sense they will get to one of the remaining shows in this tour before its too late.


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