Live Review: My Vitriol - Koko, London 20/11/17
In the near total darkness of London's Koko, some deep grungy background noise came over the speakers accompanied by strobes illuminating the iconic Finelines symbol that adorned the back of the stage. A few minutes pass and out walks the band, Ravi Kesavaram (drums), Seth Taylor (guitar), and lastly out walks frontman Som Wardner (vocals, guitar),
They kick of the night by launching straight into “Moodswings”, a song that epitomises their shoegaze and alternative rock sound; plenty of heavy, melodic guitar riffs and Som's faultless emotive vocals, he covers a lot of the stage, thrashing his guitar until climaxing with angst laden screams.
The night is filled with plenty of familiar tracks from their 2001 album, “Finelines”; an album that developed a loyal and long lasting fan base that was so different to anything else released at the time that it still sounds fresh 16 years later. The rest of the set is filled with a number of covers from their second album“Between The Lines”, many of which have never been performed live, namely some of my favourites like Madonna's “Oh Father”, “Wait a Minute” by Wipers and “Breakfast” by Eugenics,
The lighting throughout the whole night was some of the best I've seen at Koko. In the center of the stage was a Buddha statue, which was lit up during some of the quieter numbers, adding a moody ambience, notably during Som's solo performance of “Another Lie” and “Parade”. At other times the house lights were directed up to a giant disco ball suspended from the red and gold ornate ceiling, a permanent fixture that many visitors may be unaware of at Koko, that blankets the whole venue in additional shimmer and beauty.
The second half of their set they played my favourite “All of Me”, another track that unbelievably hasn't been played live. It's another moody and emotional track that really showcases Som's beautiful vocals, the guitars are still distinctive but subdued and really embrace the nu-gaze genre. In total contrast they proceed to drop in a few instrumental bars of some Rage Against The Machine tracks, “Bullet in the Head” and “Testify” before breaking into their best known track and an endless classic, “Alpha Ways: Always Your Way”.
They end their gig on a high note with another favourite of mine, “Tongue Tied”; an instrumental track that switches it up between head bopping and full on mosh that continues into the all out frenzy that is, C.O.R. (Critic Orientated Rock). A short burst of Som's glorious angsty screams before coming to an abrupt end!
My Vitriol stuck around to meet their loyal fans and it was a lovely touch as their two night stint at Koko felt like the gig of their career, despite having support slots for Muse in the past, the production and the number of songs performed live for the first time, really gave it the edge and it was an pleasure to be a part of it.
If you, like me, are also a loyal fan from the very beginning (I still have a poster on my bedroom door), then you may well agree when I say you really feel at home at a My Vitriol gig.
Review and Photography by Rachel Prew