Live Review - Deez Nuts & Comeback Kid w/ Hellions, First Blood & Get The Shot @ Mama Roux’s, Birmingham 13/02/17
A night full of hardcore paired with a venue as intimate as Birmingham’s Mama Roux’s could only signify an evening of absolute chaos. The renovated garage in the backstreets of Digbeth had its work cut out, with some of the most notorious acts in the scene coming together, including hardcore veterans Comeback Kid, alongside co-headliners, and rapcore punks, Deez Nuts.
Opening the jam packed bill were Canadian quintet Get The Shot. Watching this band from the balcony meant I wasn’t subject to front man J-P’s exorcist-like performance, which was what made this performance even better. Their short set consisted of nothing but straight up fury aimed at the system, paired with that oh so familiar chugging riff, creating nothing but angst among the crowd. Two stepping proceeded, with J-P getting involved himself. Set finale Cold Hearted I found to be the highlight, sending the venue into a sweat filled mosh. Despite only a handful of spectators getting acquainted with the pit, J-P seemed to be lost in his anger, producing a performance that will be hard to forget.
Next up were Cali hardcore 5 piece First Blood. Not having released any material for 7 years, snippets of their new release were eagerly anticipated within the venue. Proceeding with album opener Fuck The Rules meant the guys had the crowd hooked from the off, with politically charged mosh filling the room once again. Their new catalogue sounded consistently strong throughout the night, with the crowd starting to come into their stride with each beatdown. It seemed to be equally satisfying for FB, who seemed somewhat refreshed with a fresh set list to play. As well as new material, old favourites were still present, with the loyal in the crowd taking the mic from front man Carl Schwartz to sing his lines. Ultimately, this band have come back refreshed, and are looking and sounding better than ever.
Aussie punks Hellions did not necessarily carry the same generics as the previous bands, but certainly made up for it with their individual sound. Despite holding the shortest set of the night, the guys took their opportunity to showcase recent release Opera Oblivia in all its glory, playing a handful of its songs to an eager crowd. With the album sounding like a hybrid of hardcore and punk with a sprinkle of pop punk, it went down a storm with the crowd, providing the riffs for the two-step devotees, along with light catchy choruses. This album is certainly one of my highlights of 2016, and hearing it live only strengthened my admiration for this band. Playing self-titled single Hellions showed a much stronger hardcore influence, and appeased the need for older material, which meant an all-round happy crowd. An overall incredible performance from these guys, who never cease to amaze me.
Comeback Kid’s eagerly anticipated performance meant the venue was at maximum capacity, with most squeezing to be as close to the stage as possible. Within seconds of opener G.M Vincent and I proceeding, the crowd had already gone into meltdown, with the entire venue thrashing around in excitement. Playing a backlog of hits from a selection of their albums meant the die-hards were in their element with this performance, including even the oldest of hits like All In A Year (from 2003 hit Turn It Around). Frontman Andrew Neufeld took no time in thanking the crowd for being there, which was met with applause from front to back. A 15 song strong set meant even the newest of fans could appreciate, with hits from most recent release Die Knowing creating the biggest mosh of the night. Their experience shines through in their performance, alongside obvious passion for what they do. Comeback Kid are clear veterans of the hardcore scene, providing nostalgia for many, as well as proving that they are one of the most unforgettable hardcore acts of the past decade.
The evening’s headliner, and rapcore veterans, Deez Nuts sounded solid throughout their performance, with front man JJ Peters’ vocals sounding better than ever. Opening with Band Of Brothers signaled a mosh fueled sing along, which paired with those heavy chugs signified madness from the outset. The guys fly through their 17 song strong set, with bodies flying through the air to each and every hit. Sampling the new album only further strengthened the band’s tightness; new single Purgatory is a mosher’s dream, with an angry outlook and breakdowns throughout. Personal favourites I Hustle Everyday and Stay True sounded just as angry and full of angst as they did 9 years ago on their debut LP Stay True, making this performance head-bang worthy for sure. Finishing with the delicately titled Your Mother Should’ve Swallowed You just added to the insanity within the room, with handfuls stage diving at a time, with the rest repping their angriest finger point. Deez Nuts seem untouchable right now. This performance only proved what we’ve all known for years; rapcore is well and truly alive, and better than ever.
Words by Cait Briggs & Photography by Ryan Winstanley