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Shvpes - The Rainbow Cellar, Birmingham 14.10.16

Heading off to the Rainbow Cellar with a fellow photographer, I was unsure what

to expect from this show. SHVPES are a band that have constantly been recommended to me and although I had listened to much of their material I had been led to believe that they were a band that had to be seen live.

When I saw that they would be playing in their hometown as part of their

'Pain. Joy. Ecstasy.Despair'. Tour, it seemed only logical to head along and find out what all the fuss was about.Kicking off the night were local lads No Idols, who put on a short yet

fantastic show. Not hesitating to dive into their set, they announced they would be performing the tracks from their EP Better,before delivering five tracks that provided just the right amount of energy and enthusiasm. Although they could have done with slightly more crowd interaction, they more than made up for this with their tight performance. These are definitely a band I will be keeping an eye out for on the local scene.

Next up were A Promise To Forget. The unlucky band of the night, they managed to overcome an incredibly faulty guitar and still delivered a strong set much to the delight of the crowd. Describing themselves as Melodic Metal Core and playing just that, it was very much what you see is what you get with this group. Finishing their set with the song Secrets We Keep and a cry of "Fuck Donald Trump", they exited the stage to a warmed up crowd many a slap on the back. By now, more people had begun to fill the cellar and I resorted to standing on a raised bench to the side in order to watch Wars. The only band that weren't from Birmingham as they're Rugby based, their name had cropped up numerous times before the show and for good reason. Probably the heaviest support band of the night, the singer seldom spent any time on stage, preferring to pace, run and jump through the now packed crowd nearest the front of the venue, much to their delight. You'll be lucky to see a band that deliver their set with such force, and I was blown away by this group. I'd have preferred for them to have had a longer set time as I feel it was slightly rushed, but nevertheless I was still impressed.

As SHVPES emerged on stage, the crowd surged forward and I was, fortunately, carried with it. I've never seen a band as engaging as these guys, and the set they delivered was something else. Within minutes, the crowd had parted to allow individuals to throw themselves about in time to tracks such as 'Skin & Bones' and 'Bone Theory' from the bands newest album 'Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair'. Although I had heard on the grapevine of singer Griffin Dickinson's stage antics, it's safe to say I was not prepared for it. Thriving off the reaction from the crowd, he was soon in amongst everyone mic In hand encouraging us all to scream each and every song as loud as we could. Every now and then, he'd leap backstage and smash the cymbals with his hands, much to the drummers amusement. Even at the end, with sweat pouring from their faces, the band still gaveT he set their all. With SHVPES's popularity on the rise, it's not difficult to see why. An infectiously energetic band, they truly deliver the sound you hear off the stereo. Good stuff.

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