Live Review: The Blackout

King Tut’s – 5/11

Eleven years since their formation – after swerving a number of setbacks and outlasting a lot of their original peers – the men from Merthyr Tydfil have returned. This time with a new and heavier sound, and the same mental energy. The majority of the crowd at King Tut’s tonight are veterans, fans of The Blackout from the 2007-2009 era or potentially even earlier.

The air is thick with the sense of nostalgia of a simpler time, when eyeliner and fringes were plentiful and our iPods were rammed with the sounds of Bullet for My Valentine, MCR and Slipknot (still great music, though we’re not as open about it anymore for some reason). Tonights heroes are heavily anticipated, never has anyone been let down by a live show from these six Welshmen, and tonight was to be no different. Even the intro of first song ‘Wolves’ sent the floor into a mass of limbs and hair as the two main men Sean Smith and Gavin Butler bounded onto the stage ready to cause mayhem.

The first two songs went from brand new EP to their first EP, with the kind of childish excitement and energy that has always made them an exceptional live band; it only took one chorus for Butler to practically be standing on the writhing mass of bodies, clinging onto the roof beams to avoid any serious injury. Despite self-claimed poor voice condition, both screaming and clean vocals were on point tonight and the pounding and riling backline were contributing heavily to the chaos.

The conversation in between singers and audience is as immature as ever, but tonight isn’t about anything other than having a shit load of fun. Props to the guy who pulled off two back-flips in the mosh pit with the band and the rest of King Tut’s egging him on.

An extremely broad set list tonight represents every release and played to every fan and every mood, the overall of which was celebration. Tonight was a celebration of the everlasting nature of great music and of a band that no matter what is thrown at them – money troubles, record label ditching or serious illness – will come back even better without losing the essence that makes them special. The Blackout don’t take themselves too seriously, but by doing so, demand serious attention.

Find Callum’s interview with lead singer Sean Smith here.

[Callum Price – @calprice28]

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