Live Review: Polar, Giants, Empires Fade & My Only -The Black Heart, London 05/03/2017
The Black Heart, London. 150 Capacity; Sold out show. Things are evidently going to get exciting.
The small upstairs room is already pretty busy for the first of the supports, melodic hardcore outfit My Only. With a short set consisting of their (so far) limited discography, the band get the night off to a decent start: there are members of the crowd singing along and singer Jon smiles from ear to ear. With a larger fan base, My Only could be huge. As a big follower of their kind of music, the band leave me content and excited to hear whatever material they release next. Go and listen to “No World Without You”, it’s worth it – UK alternative at its some of its best. FFO Crooks and In Her Own Words.
Empires Fade change the mood a bit. With a similar sound (on record at least) to In Hearts Wake, the band brings an energy to the room that was perhaps missing before. Vocalist Liam descends from the stage and performs among the crowd screaming, shouting and moshing his way through a heavy and powerful set. The five-piece, with their down tuned guitars and bass-y drums make the floor rumble whilst the ever-increasing audience becomes more animated. If you like Northlane, you’ll like this.
Giants come across as the punkiest of the acts so far. Post-hardcore mixed with heavier pop-punk seems like an accurate description, they’re almost reminiscent of Mid-late Your Demise. Regardless, the crowd finds its mettle and the proper moshes begin. Singer Ed pushes the mic into the audience to have his words sung for him, whilst guitarist Jack jumps in proper pop-punk fashion. Giants are a further increase in the energy of the gig and a perfect setup for the headliner.
For Polar, the crowd surges. Without a barrier, people are thrown onto the stage, and bodies are pushing left, right and centre. Singer Adam jumps straight into the crowd in the first song and is met by a brilliantly receptive audience that bellows back every word of the opener “Blood for Blood”. He sings whilst being carried atop multiple arms and all in all, the set continues in a similar vein, crowd-surfers galore, hard-hitting choruses from the rest of the room and an overall sweat-fest, and I’m not kidding - Guitarist Fab’s axe literally drips with sweat. Lovely. Polar put on an utterly fantastic show, and long may they continue.
Words and Photography by Rhys Haberfield