I Killed The Prom Queen rise from the Underworld... (in Camden)
Let's face it. Take That were never the same without Robbie. The Spice Girls were never the same without Geri. With the backing of this strong scientific evidence in mind, were the re-formed I Killed The Prom Queen ever going to be the same with previous vocalists Michael Crafter or Ed Butcher being out of the frame for a Jesse Leach-style comeback? Has the Sugababes-like line-up shuffling come to an end? Will we stop comparing this Australian metalcore band to aging British pop groups? Their dramatic story is every bit as good as a Neighbours plotline and we were pretty excited to catch the next episode at their London show.
Kicking off proceedings, we were left in the capable, experienced hands of the 'veteran force' that is Romeo Must Die (9/13). Dishing up big, beefy tunes with the balls of a bull just shown a red flag, they are an act that can maintain a tempo of aggression and power effortlessly. The crowd were more than a bit warm by the time the second support came on… and what a treat lay in store.
If this was I Killed The Prom Queen's wedding, Bury Tomorrow (13/13) turned up wearing white. Every aspect of their set was flawless. From the mouthwatering opener in the impossibly good Lionheart to the victorious climax of You & I; not to mention the excitement of all the new material from The Union Of Crowns in between. Their power resonated in their performance. Their desire for togetherness was demonstrated through vocalist Dani Winter Bates' demand for 'all you industry lot up there to come join us common folk down here'. (We're pleased to report that we were about three rows from the front with a Guinness in hand. Rock n' roll, baby.) This band are destined for nothing but glory as their shows are, in a word, breathtaking.
So it was following the mother of all support slots that I Killed The Prom Queen became reacquainted with their London fanbase, who were nothing short of delighted to see them. The pit was always going to explode for them, such is the joy of seeing a favourite band resurrected from the dead like some kind of hardcore-zombie-Christ.
The return of tracks like Your Shirt Would Look Better With A Columbian Neck-Tie to a live stage inspired some pretty heavy-duty windmilling (are we the only ones who get hypnotised by this practice with all the morbid curiosity of rubbernecking a car crash?) but to the un-blinkered spectator, was this reunion up to scratch? Well, not really.
Sadly, ex-The Red Shore vocalist Jamie Hope has a significant amount of room in the toe of the massive shoes he has had to fill. He struggled to deliver both the heat of the raw screaming or drive the melody; which showed up massively on firm favourites like Say Goodbye.
But let's not write these guys off. This is a new era for I Killed The Prom Queen, and as the new material gets written around their new frontman's capabilities, we will be sure to feel more faith in this band again. We'd be interested in what's coming next from these Aussies, almost as much as we like to catch up with the gossip on Ramsay Street.