Live Review: Keroscene at The Islington

Last night (April 13th), London post-punk rockers, Keroscene supported Rival Karma at London’s The Islington, alongside fellow support band, Himalayas.  I interviewed Keroscene about three months ago and the band were quite optimistic about their future, especially after the release of singles like “I Can’t Do A Thing” and “Like The First Time.” Since then, the band have also released another new single, “Our Time”, which has an incredibly soaring chorus, noisy guitars, and moments of epic tension-building.

The Islington is quite an intimate venue, which can be a trap because many bands find it difficult to emulate such a huge sound in such a tiny space. You also never know how a band’s sound is going to translate live, so I didn’t know what to expect, besides a pretty hefty volume level that’s always been associated with noise rock and shoegaze bands.

Keroscene opened their set with a short intro, followed by an unreleased track called “Next To Me.” About 30 seconds in, my immediate thought was, “OK, these guys aren’t messing around.” The band performs like a well-oiled machine and if I hadn’t heard of them before and you told me that these guys have been playing together for 10 years, I never would have questioned it. Next, the band played their very first single, “Cotton Candy”, which came out around two years ago and then came another previously unreleased track “Round And Round” — the most memorable song of the unreleased tracks they performed on the night.

The next four tracks — “Our Time”, “Like The First Time”, “I Can’t Do A Thing”, and “Regret” — were the show’s biggest highlights (particularly “I Can’t Do A Thing” and “Regret”, which are my two favorite tracks from the band) and the live versions definitely didn’t disappoint. In fact, I think you need to hear these tracks live in order to understand the hypnotic, otherworldly vibe that you get from listening to Keroscene. It’s so easy to get swept away in the band’s sound and forget where you are while listening to them. It’s the kind of floating on a cloud feeling that you get from bands like My Bloody Valentine and I think if fans of Creation Records heard this band, they would immediately jump on the Keroscene bandwagon after recognizing this trademark quality.

The band truly shines during the breakdowns in each song with the band’s lead singer, David Troster and bassist, Edd Wilding both engaging in graceful head-banging and hair flipping. Troster shows no restraint when singing live and has no problem sounding exactly like he does on record. Wilding has a calm, cool demeanor about him in the midst of the band’s blistering noise and he’s a huge asset to the band’s driving, enthralling sound. On the other hand, guitarist Franco Bondi is an energetic force and his guitar playing is such a quintessential component of the band’s wall of sound while drummer, Jake Sorbie lays the band’s solid foundation and adds a nice depth to the band’s sound with his backing vocals.

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Troster mistakenly introduced the “stoner rock” track, “I Can’t Do A Thing” as the band’s next single, but Wilding was quick to interject as he assured the crowd that it was already out and after the song ended, you could tell that with each song, the cheers were getting louder as the audience knew they were in the presence of a band that’s got something really special on their hands. As a result, the band began to feed off the energy of the room and you could tell they were enjoying every second of it. The band ended on a high note with another new track, “Gloria” and I must admit, I still can’t quite come to grips with how impressive their overall performance was.

Though it’ll probably be a while till the band makes their way across the pond for some shows in the US, I’ll be eagerly awaiting that moment. Keep your eye on this band or you’ll definitely regret it.

Keroscene Setlist:

Next To Me

Cotton Candy

Round And Round

Out Time

Like The First Time

I Can’t Do A Thing

Regret

Gloria


For more on Keroscene, check out their links below:

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