Review: Ashestoangels + 48 Hours at The Garage, London (01/04/15)

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Ashestoangels and 48 Hours finished off their recent short co-headline tour with a night of explosive music in London Town. In the intimate setting of The Garage’s upstairs room a cocktail of rock power and punk energy was released by these two bands, which made for an intoxicating and highly enjoyable night of live music.

Before the main event of the evening however, those in attendance were treated to two very different support acts, both of whom were talented in their own way. The first of these was intensely political anarchic punks 44 fires, who were undoubtedly a good band, but not necessarily the best fit for this show. They performed well, but many of the young crowd seemed to find their angry music and anonymous mask-wearing stage presence to be more intimidating than entertaining. Second support The Astoria fared slightly better, local London boys who played music with a heavy pop punk sound. They sounded seriously good for an opening band, and proved to be a substantially less scary proposition than 44 Fires for many of the younger fans in attendance.

Next up were 48 Hours, the night’s first headliners and a ferocious, riff-driven beast of a rock band. They’ve got a really impressive modern hard rock sound, the sort of thing you usually hear coming from bands straight out of the American mid-west, and it’s unusual to find it being produced so well by a British band. 48 Hours are good at what they do though, their strong guitar work and engaging stage presence ensured they had the crowd firmly onside from the first note they played. Of course, a band’s nothing without some decent songs to bring the whole thing together, and 48 Hours certainly had a clutch of those. They were even joined by Ashestoangels frontman Adam Crilly for a barnstorming cover of Savage Garden’s cheesy 90s classic ‘Truly Madly Deeply’. Sounds bonkers on paper, but it was great fun and hands down the most entertaining moment of their set and proved once and for all that if you’re a rock band, nothing quite gets the punters onside like an unexpected cover.

Finally, though, it was time for the energy levels in the room to really shoot through the roof, as Ashestoangels took the stage. It’s not even been a month since these boys absolutely obliterated the Obsidian stage at Southampton’s own Takedown festival, and though they were gracing a somewhat smaller stage at the Garage, they still managed to shine. This charismatic and sharply dressed lot certainly know how to bring the party wherever they go, and this London show was no exception. They blasted through a set heavy with tracks from fantastic new album Horror Cult, each song a bouncy gothic punk rock gem which had the audience singing, jumping, occasionally moshing and just generally having a fantastic time. Even a broken mic stand couldn’t stop Ashestoangels from unleashing their own personal brand of gothic hell, instead frontman Adam Crilly simply pulled a bemused looking fan from the front row and stuck the microphone in her hand. Now that’s the sort of audience interaction and calm under pressure you just don’t get at bigger shows. As the evening drew to a close, member of 48 Hours join their tour mates on stage, a nice moment which causes even more crowd whooping and serves only too underline the camaraderie between the bands on this tour. They might not be particularly alike in sound, but after the show 48 Hours and Ashestoangels put on at the Garage, it’s clear that whatever the naysayers may claim there’s no shortage of excellent, hard-working British bands keeping rock and roll alive

If you missed Ashestoangels on this tour, you can catch them again on tour with William Control at Joiners later this month. Tickets available here.

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