Live: Creeper, The Marr’s Bar, 19/4/15

Worcester’s scene has never been dead, but it’s certainly been slowing down in recent years. Except for the excellent but sporadic Surprise Attacks series, a couple of stalwarts booking the odd shows at the Firefly and the annual Worcester Music Festival (or WuMu, for shits and giggles), there wasn’t really a hell of a lot to get excited about.

However, Fights and Fires sticksman Lee Jackson decided that wasn’t good enough so along with some other likeminded punx, he set up Faithful City Shows in a bid to bring bands properly back to the Wu. Ashamedly, it took me until show number four to actually pitch up in The Marr’s Bar, but the goth-punk lure of Creeper was more than enough to set the wheels in motion.

First to hit the stage were Worcester youngsters Chase The Deer (2.5/5). They’re the new kids on the block, formed just under a year ago, and it shows. They’re nervous on stage, unpracticed with crowds, and half of their set is poorly performed covers. However, there’s also some real potential shining through. Latest single ‘Bad Date’ is a great slice of pure pop with a chorus that’s pure gold, and debut single ‘Think’ is a hell of a lot of fun. If they can perform their own songs with the same confidence and conviction that they do the covers, they might be onto a winner.

It’s obvious how much we love Lanterns (4.5/5). The debut record This Is Not My Home is magnificent, and the live show equally so. Despite a few teething problems with new equipment, the band themselves were positively charming, and the songs just sounded fantastic. ‘Safe With Me’ has so much power since being reinvented as an electric anthem, and the band teased a new track that is certain to be an absolute banger. Definitely one to watch.

Vault of Eagles (4/5) are not typically the sort of band that I’d rush out to listen to. Truth be told, I was secretly hoping for a bit of riot grrl when they stepped on the stage, but rather than being disappointed, I was enthralled by their stoner grunge fusion. You can tell that all the songs have been developed with a live show in mind – everything from the bass tone to the guitar set-up was bang on perfect. Their psychedelic grooves were a welcome addition to the evening, and definitely a new addition to my iPod.

However, if there was one thing to take away from the show that night, it was that Creeper (5/5) will never play in a venue this small again. Recently hailed by Kerrang! as ‘new grave’ heroes, their goth-punk anthems sound even better live than on their outstanding self-titled EP. Their set was full of energy, incredibly tight without feeling too practiced and polished, and truly unmissable. The band have got an absolute gem of a frontman in Will Gould – equal parts Davey Havok and Gerard Way, his performance is captivating and filled with a flair for the dramatic. He’s learned well from his predecessors, not just in how to run the stage (or hold a microphone just like Davey), but in that he’s humble – genuinely thankful for the opportunity to play and the support of the scene – and it’s truly heartwarming to see.

The second thing to take away from the show was that Creeper are now the only band allowed to cover AFI, because their cover of ‘Sacrifice Theory’ was spot on, and probably the closest I’ll ever get to see AFI play anything off The Art of Drowning that isn’t ‘Days of the Phoenix’. However, even if a highlight for a Despair Faction loser like myself, their own songs stood just as tall as that classic and have the potential to become just as timeless. So pick up the EP, learn all the words and get yourself to a Creeper show before they start selling out club tours, because it’s only a matter of time before they explode.

The next Faithful City Shows coming up are:
FCS #5 – Sweet Empire/HOLY/Irish Handcuffs/Horror on the High Seas
Wednesday 20 May, Drummonds, 7.30pm
Buy tickets here

FCS #6 – Lock and Key/Boxkite/Carving a Giant/Fractures
Sunday 31 May, The Marr’s Bar, 7.30pm
Buy tickets here

FCS #7 – Funeral for a Friend + Support
Sunday 7 June, The Marr’s Bar, 7.30pm
Sold out!

FCS #8 – Off With Their Heads/Brassick + Support
Thursday 6 August, The Marr’s Bar, 7.30pm
Buy tickets here

FCS #9 – Random Hand/Fights and Fires + Support
Friday 21 August, The Marr’s Bar, 7.30pm
Buy tickets here