Live Review: Frank Iero & The Patience, The Paceshifters and The Homeless Gospel Choir - Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth 18/10/2017
After finding fame as part of emo legends My Chemical Romance, guitarist Frank Iero is back with his new project Frank Iero And The Patience. They are currently touring in support of their newly released EP 'Keep The Coffins Coming'.
Kicking off the night are Dutch grunge three-piece Paceshifters. The bands energy was infectious, and despite an initially muted response from the crowd there was a real buzz in the room by the end of their set. Their music was enjoyable with plenty of powerful riffs and melodic choruses, all performed with the characteristic raw sound and powerful vocals you'd expect from a grunge trio. These guys are definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future, especially for fans of classic grunge.
Next up there is a complete shift in pace, as The Homeless Gospel Choir takes the stage. This is the stage name of acoustic singer songwriter Derek Zanetti, who specializes in protest songs and celebrating the inclusivity of the punk rock scene. Almost as much time was spent on pre song talking as was spent on performing, and whilst in the wrong hands this could come off as preachy or excessive, The Homeless Gospel Choir's natural charm and positive messages had the whole crowd wrapped up in every word. The sound was obviously very stripped back, with one acoustic guitar and one vocal the only sounds coming from the stage. Despite this, his energetic guitar playing and thought provoking lyrics were more than enough to keep the audience engaged. An utterly unique, yet thoroughly enjoyable performance.
There is a palpable sense of excitement as Frank Iero And The Patience take to the stage. The crowd is a real mixture of ages, with fans from the My Chemical Romance days and younger fans who are just discovering Frank's music in approximately equal measures. Frank performs with fantastic energy, backed up by his band who despite not giving as much of a physical performance lock together to give everything a very tight sound. This all helps make Frank the focal point, and the crowd are instantly engaged. It is easy to see that Frank is the man they came here to see, as there are sing-alongs, dancing, clapping and crowd surfing. A personal highlight was seeing the first crowdsurfer of the night, who couldn't have been older than 12, and was a real display of the inclusiveness of the punk scene that The Homeless Gospel Choir was talking about.
The sound of the band ranges from old school rock and roll to high pace punk rock, and the set list is constructed in a way that the performance fluctuates throughout, building excitement at times, and dropping things down at others. This stops the set from ever dragging, and keeps things engaging throughout. Set highlights include the heavy riffs and melodrama of I'll Let You Down, the high energy punk attack of 'Mess', a ramped up cover of The Beatle's 'Helter Skelter' and 'Joyrider', which prompted the biggest crowd reaction of the night and made me feel like I was at an old school My Chemical Romance show.
Overall this was a great night, and a celebration of punk in its many forms. Each band brought something different yet still cohesive, and Frank Iero delivered a fantastic performance, appeasing fans both old and new.
Review and Photography by Lauren Harris