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SHVPES (Supporting Hawthorne Heights) - The Flapper, Birmingham 22.10.2018

With a huge tour with Bullet For My Valentine, Of Mice & Men and Nothing More all set and ready to go, SHVPES are playing a few warm up shows supporting Ohio outfit Hawthorne Heights, tonight it’s a hometown gig at The Flapper in Birmingham. It promises to be a busy couple of months for the five piece, with album 2 ‘Greater Than’ ready to drop on November 9th.

Being a massive fan of SHVPES, I’m very excited to be covering this one – their debut album ‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair’ was one of my favourite albums of 2016, and having seen them live once before with Trivium, I already know I’m going to be in for a good show, especially if you add just how good the already released singles from ‘Greater Than’ are sounding!

SHVPES kick off their set with ‘Undertones’, the first single released from their upcoming record, the teasing riff instantly gets the crowd bopping. There’s no photo pit at The Flapper, and vocalist Griffin Dickinson orders the crowd to get closer to the stage – ‘get up here, this isn’t a press area!’ he yells in a remark to me and the other photographers down the front, It might make my job harder but he’s right in saying it - the music is very much for the paying fans.

They follow up the opener with two tracks off of their first record, ‘State Of Mine’ and ‘Skin & Bones’. It almost feels like SHVPES are out of place in such a small intimate venue, Griffin looks like a caged animal throwing himself about on the cramped stage. Next they treat us too an unreleased track in the form of ‘Someone Else’, it’s difficult to describe a song in detail with only one listen, especially while I’m snapping away with my camera, but I remember being impressed with the songs heavy breakdown, I’ll be eager to give this one a play when the new album lands for sure.

After playing old favourite ‘Two Minutes Of Hate’, SHVPES round off the set with new singles ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Calloused Hands’. Seriously, the guitars on the new material are sounding awesome, both Youssef Ashraf and Ryan Hamilton absolutely kill it. Once the set is over I think the crowd were definitely left impressed, I ask a couple of friends of mine who hadn’t even heard of SHVPES before the night started what they thought, and they loved them!

SHVPES are doing themselves absolutely no harm at the moment, the new music is sounding like their best work yet, they have a massive tour lined up and their album is on the verge of dropping. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that ‘Greater Than’ leads to bigger and better things for SHVPES because it is absolutely what they deserve.

Photos & Review - Sam Robinson Photography

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