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Creeper - Manchester Academy 2, 25.03.2017

Creeper are a 6 piece English 'Horror Punk' band based in Southampton. Creeper currently have 3 EP's a debut full length album released and are currently signed to Roadrunner records.

On the 25th March, they rolled into the prestigious - and sold out - Manchester Academy 2, and along with Creeper came a trio of brilliant supports. With them also came the first real indicators that Creeper are starting to take off, with having first discovered them in early 2015, only mere months after forming. I have seen Creeper play to 30 people in a sweaty 'stage' to now seeing them play a sold out 900 capacity show. As I was queing to go in to the show, a guy approached me trying to flog fake Creeper merch. Wow. I couldn't believe the audacity of the guy, but I also couldn't believe Creeper have grown that much they have fake merch. Anyway, we move passed the guy and in to the show we go!

London based trio Puppy were the opening act, and after having never really heard of them before I had literally no expecations going into this. Puppy take their positions and burst into their first song I am immediately captivated by the drummer, who hits his kit with unrivaled force. Puppy fight through what was either technical faults or a poor job from the sound guy, this was cleaned up towards the end, but still, the set suffered because of this. I can't fault the live show of Puppy, as they are clearly comfortable on a stage. Puppy play a constrained yet captivating set, what they lack in time they gain in interest. From the first few notes of the first song the audience quietened almost immediately and heads turned. Sadly, it's quite rare for a sold out audience to pay attention to the opening band(s) so props to Puppy! I look forward to seeing more of them in the future!

Boston based Energy are up next, and this is their first ever show in the UK, but you would never have guessed that from the cofidence they stroll on to the stage with. Even as they take their stage positions, there is not one look of nerves, from the stage presence already on display, I knew we were in for a strong performance. Although this band is also new to me, they leave an impact that makes me want to see them again, which is surely a good thing! The frontman who I later learn is called Jason captivates the attention of the audience while simultaneously exposing them to a wave of new music. Great marketing by a band on their first overseas visit!

Main support came from Milk Teeth, who I have seen a couple of times before. Sadly, I have never been impressed by them, but the 2 prior times I have saw them have been festival appearances, so I put the sub-par performances down to limited time slots/ other festival related excuses. I would like to say my opinion has been changed by their performance on the night, but sadly not. However I have spoken to numerous fans who disagree with me, and each and every one was thoroughly impressed with their performance. So I can safely say that they ARE a good band, just not to my taste. This takes nothing away from the band / their show.

Up next.... Creeper!

When it was time for them to take to the stage, what happened next blew me away. Suddenly the room erupted in lights and smoke, with members of Creeper being elevated to the left and right, whilst the 'front' trio took their positions in front of an audacious new backdrop. The opening of 'Black Rain' fell upon attentive ears. The purple crosses that illuminated the stage are a new feature. Again, it hits me, just how successful Creeper have became. As they progress into 'Poison Pen' it is obvious just how comfortable Will Gould is as a frontman. Following 'Poison Pen' is a couple of old fan favourites in the shape of 'Black Mass', 'Gloom', 'Lie Awake' and 'The Honeymoon Sweet'. The music and stage show is unrivaled on the night. The crowd reactions and participation is unrivaled since. Creeper proceed to debut a few more new songs off of their debut album (released the night before) - including 'Crickets', 'Down Below' (sung by Hannah Greenwood, and Hannah alone) and I' Choose To Live'. Inbetween new songs a few old songs were spun, in the form of 'Valentine '(dedicated to their fanbase), 'Hiding With Boys', and my personal favourite - 'Astral Projection'. No two songs sound the same and they all work together in perfect harmony, at times it genuinely feels like Creeper have unbound talent and creativity. 'I Choose To Live' was the song that ended the pre-encore set, as the band left the stage, the audience was left in awe. Chants of Creeper soon filled the air - not for long though as the absolute masterpiece that is 'VCR' soon filled the room. 'Misery' - perhaps the song Creeper are best known for ended a spectacular set and a spectacular night.

Review - Luke Percival

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