Expectations for tonight’s show are high to say the least; the first date of BFW’s first UK headline tour in four years, and their first on UK soil since the release of their new album ‘Uprising’. Hand-picked local openers Doomed From Day One start off slowly, but really win over the crowd and make plenty of new friends with their take on deathcore, displaying some memorable riffs and breakdowns for a genre that has become somewhat stagnant and overpopulated in recent years.
Silent Screams are next to perform, and the crowd are anything but silent. The centre of the floor is cleared to make room for the two-steppers flailing along to every breakdown. Bassist Tom Craig complains about having a cold, though this doesn’t seem to affect his clean vocals to any noticeable degree. Unfortunately though, the band runs over time, meaning they are unable to play their planned closing song ‘When It Rains’, much to the disappointment of their fans.
Technical problems delay the arrival of Heart Of A Coward, but when things finally get going they more than make up for lost time. The next half an hour or so is a brutal assault on the senses both figuratively and literally, thanks to some over-zealous two-steppers deciding to roundhouse kick their way into the people trying desperately to avoid them. New single ‘Deadweight’ prompts a wave of crowd surfers to appear, one even turning a cartwheel back into the pit from the stage. Seemingly frustrated with the earlier problems and again having to cut their set short, the band seem somewhat relieved as they pack up their equipment.
Most of the inconsiderate hardcore kids seem to have (two) stepped aside as BFW hit the stage, leaving room for their devotees to happily bang their heads without fear of it being removed from their necks by a misplaced arm or leg. Vocalist Scott Kennedy regularly thrusts his microphone into the audience, which includes various members of local heroes Bury Tomorrow and Heart In Hand, for them to scream along to every word. Crowd-pleasing favourites such as ‘The Novelist’ and ‘The Healing’ make an appearance, though it is the new songs like ‘It Lives In Me’ and ‘Uprising’ that really shine through. At the conclusion of their set, the sweaty Scotsmen leave the stage, only to be forced back on minutes later by the unrelenting cries of “one more song” from their fans for a genuine, unplanned encore, which Kennedy delivers from the centre of a pit spanning the entire width of the room. If performances of this standard continue, it surely can’t be long until BFW join the likes of Bring Me the Horizon and While She Sleeps in the premier league of modern British metal.