It’s 7pm, the sun is still out and the bar is closed but nothing seems able to deter Belfast’s mathcore enthusiasts from venturing into tonight’s capacity downgraded venue for a varied line-up featuring a host of talent from both sides of the pond. First up are New York mathcore 4 piece Stray From The Path who power through an energetic set with smatterings of American Bravado. If a support band’s aim is to hype up a crowd then these guys well and truly fulfil their duty, successfully animating every under 18 year old into a rampaging frenzy. With each delay drenched song they demand more from their audience all of who are eager to reciprocate and make them feel well and truly at home.
Once the clouds of perspiration have settled and the tepid tap water has been fairly distributed it turns to Sheffield natives Rolo Tomassi to keep the energy high with their synth laden experimental jazzcore. Right from the off there’s a sense of Rolo’s quitter more reflective moments sticking out alongside Stray From The Path’s restless energy. The slightly bemused audience aside, what they do, they do well and we’re even treated to some new material off their upcoming 3rd studio album which sounds beyond promising. There’s so much going on throughout any one song that you get to feel a real sense of the band pushing the boundaries within what often feels like a very stagnant genre. The treat of new tracks mixed with Eva Spence’s contradictory vocal ability which shocks and encapsulates the unsuspecting audience as she howls and bounds across the stage before easing off into a siren like fragile tone makes it a set well worth missing the last few minutes of fabled Belfast sunshine for.
As Architects take to the stage you can feel from their sheer presence and the devotion directed towards them from their fans that after 4 albums over the course of 7 years these guys know exactly what they’re doing. From start to finish it’s a polished and tight set full of intricate breakdowns and meticulously timed moments of knowing when to ask the crowd for more. Aside from the brief distraction of a fight which sparks an impassioned speech from frontman Sam Carter about how nobody came here tonight for violence things all go to plan. Architects strength lie in their focus on creating interesting and expressive riffs and their ability to always push themselves to deliver that little bit extra both in the studio and on stage. It’s a strength which will undoubtedly pay off when their fifth studio album Daybreaker comes out this May. After a final push and brief guest reappearance from Eva Spence the windmilling crowd gratefully accept one final stage dive before stampeding home in a sweaty contented bliss.