LIVE REVIEW – Cancer Bats / Bleed From Within / Underside @ The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth 24/1/2019

In their years of touring around the live circuit, Cancer Bats have developed quite the reputation as a live-wire when it comes to their shows.

The Spark That Moves tour was a one where the Canadian rocks almost went back to their roots playing some of the country’s smaller venues.  

Along for the ride were a band that the Bats met in Kathmandu, Underside.

The Nepalese metallers instantly gain intrigue as someone walked out in a giant headdress resembling what one can only assume is significant in Nepal.

Musically the band blend together some strong rhythmic riffs, with sweeping guitar solos, but there isn’t anything to grasp onto in terms of originality.

With vocalist Avishek K.C staying pretty rooted to his pose box, the every was left to the two guitarists and the guy in the giant mask.

And despite his best efforts, every call for some energy from the crowd just fell on deaf ears.

On the flip side Glasgow’s Bleed From Within had the crowd riled up from the moment the quintet stepped foot on the Wedgewood Rooms stage.

The band packed a punch with everything they did, with Scott Kennedy’s acting as the exclamation point.

Whereas Underside couldn’t get the crowd moving, a simple request for a wall of death was greeted with much enthusiasm, as the audience’s energy levels matched the bands.

Playing a mix of songs from their latest record Era and older material ensured that if you weren’t aware of the band before tonight you were now.

But the main course of Canada’s finest was always going to blow away anyone else that they shared a stage with.

For 13 years Cancer Bats have been on top of their game, and tonight was no different.

Vocalist Liam Cormier was in fine form taking the piss out of Portsmouth crowd saying it was the home of the “real Coldplay fans”.

Smashing through songs like “Bricks and Mortar” the energy levels among the audience was growing and growing until it reached boiling point and exploded when the opening of “Hail Destroyer” kicked in.

With a set lasting well over an hour, by the time the four-piece launched into “Lucifer’s Rocking Chair” Cormier was calling for the crowd to get into fifth gear, to which they happily obliged.

As well as the band just looking like they were having the most fun you could have on a stage, one take away from tonight’s performance and that is Scott Middleton is an absolute riff machine.

Closing with “Gatekeeper” the band seemed to tick all the boxes of what you would want from a Cancer Bats set, leaving no disappoint punters as they left the venue.