Live Review: Evil Screcrow @ Thelka, Bristol 04/02/2017
Stage dives, crowd surfing, circle pits and an anti-gravity machine? Evil Scarecrow hit the stage at Bristol’s floating venue, Thekla with Endeavour and RSJ for a sold out and strange evening of Prog, Parody and Metalcore.
Endeavour are far from being one of the better-known bands on tonight’s line-up but being on home turf definitely gives them a helping hand. Chris enters the stage whilst the venue is still filtering guests through the door, and as the band kick the evening off the throaty vocals and epic Dream Theatre like riffs flood the ship based venue. Having only one EP under their belt doesn’t make for the biggest set list but the tracks that are belted out by Chris and the rest of the band shows that they have been clearly over looked for some time. “Shadow’s Refrain” and “Betrayal Of Life” show what progmetal is all about and go down an absolute storm, closely followed by the last song of the set which was a superb cover of Alice in Chains’ “Them Bones.”
Opening with the title track from their most recent album “Giant Glen” RSJ might as well of hit on lookers in their faces with their guitars. From the get go the crowd are pummelled with an onslaught of metal sludge and punishing vocals from Dan. Despite Dan’s best efforts to incite a circle pit opening up from the stage, the mass of bodies soon oblige after climbing down from the stage and show them what a metal gig is all about. Not one to be out done ‘Guff drags a case from the stage and the venue parts like the red sea and soon surround the guitarist in a frenzied pit of swinging limbs. RSJ have well and truly set a very high bar for the guys in Evil Scarecrow. Closing their set with the absolute face melter “Play It Again Sam” the York based boys have put on a belter of a set and checked every box for a gig, brutality, carnage circle pits and stage dives.
Fifteen minutes past their scheduled set time (which at a show always feel a lot longer) due technical difficulties which as heard from the sound desk threatens to “blow the whole system,” Dr. Hell Booms over the mic “We are Evil Scarecrow.” All is forgiven however once 'The Architect of Hate' kicks in. The Scarecrow boys lead the entire ship in a very cramped sweaty slow dance mid-way through 'Dance of The Cyclops' followed by synchronized robotic shapes being pulled all though 'Robotron' only stopping to support Monty Blitzfist as he brings a drum out from his kit and proceeds to walk across the crowd. Putting full trust in the devotees Monty climbs the balcony and falls in to their open arms.
Dr. Evil and the rest of the band decide to forego the usual routine of disappearing before playing and encore and decide to all “hide” at the side of the stage to comically run back with arms in the air. 'Hurricanado' sends everyone in to a literal spin whilst 'Crabulon' gets the ship rocking from side to side thanks to the sold-out venue scuttling from left to right with claws snapping in the air. The final sign off from Dr Evil is the same as the welcome but with the added extra of “We’re Evil Scarecrow and we’ve been an absolute shambles for you” clearly disagreeing with the band the mob send the boys off with a mass of applause which is more than deserved. With the anti-gravity now carted off stage it’s time to come backdown to earth, back to normality and time to face the cold night air as security usher people off the ship and the clean-up mission begins.
Photography and Words by Anthony Hunt