Knocked Loose - University Students' Union, Newcastle 23.06.2022
The Hardcore scene in Newcastle seems to be growing every day, with more and more bands on the up and coming and local venues consistently putting on shows for these to showcase their talents it was no surprise to find Newcastle Student Union absolutely rammed to see Hardcore heavyweights Knocked Loose do what they do best. With Outbreak Festival right around the corner Newcastle was the last show on what was an intimate run with only London and Nottingham the only other two cities being lucky enough to host the veterans.
It’s not often venues are full early on with many people holding off till the headlining acts due to perform to make their way, but this was different both inside and outside was full of excited metalheads ready to scream lyrics and mosh until their bodies couldn’t anymore. Geordies weren’t the only people there though, just listening to conversations it was clear people had travelled from all over the country just to get a glimpse of their favourite band.
7:30 hit and the lights went out. It was time for the first support. Glaswegian hardcore band Despize erupted onto the stage with a task at hand, to make an impression and boy is that what they did. From the first song to their last they had the crowd in the palm of their hand, pits opened, and bodies went flying back and forth. After their set I met up with a couple of the members and found out to my surprise that this was their first bunch of shows performing to bigger crowds, this really did not seem the case as the lads seemed in their element performing to a packed venue and really set the tone for the rest of the night. They stated they have plans to come back to Newcastle this year and after their performance I can tell it will be another packed show. I really recommend keeping tabs on this group as they are going places and are aiming to release a new LP in the first half of next year.
After a short break it was time for Soft Kill to hit the stage. With a completely different sound I didn’t know what reception they would get from the crowd and even expected a negative feel from people in attendance, but it was the opposite. Soft Kill knew they were different to the previous support and to the headlining act, but they came on stage and owned every second of their time slot. The lead vocalist used harsh vocals over mellow instrumentals, and it created a unique sound which went together well and had the crowd hooked. I had never heard of Soft Kill before this but even I found myself bopping along enjoying the music that was being played in front of me which was a very pleasant surprise.
The last support now had their chance to show people what they could do. Choir Boy hit the stage and belted out their discography. With many people knowing Knocked Loose were next the crowd seemed a bit disjointed and distracted from the group which created an awkward dynamic. The Dream Pop outfit really could hold their own on an Indie bill or something similar, but it just seemed off tonight.
All the supports had finished, and people had their last chance to regather their thoughts… it was now time for the main event. The lights went off and an eerie silence filled the room with everyone stood in anticipation, then it was time, Knocked Loose hit the stage and were met with a deafening roar. Bryan Garris welcomed everyone and straight into the first song we went. The intro to ‘Where Light Divides the Holler’ seemed longer than usual and excitement swallowed the room whole as a pit opened front dead and centre and simultaneously closed in on itself once the thrashing of guitars kicked in. Bryan Garris is a total expert when it comes to controlling a crowd and this was made evident tonight. The crowd acted as though hypnotised following every command he barked at them. It was banger after banger from the band with well-known hits ‘Billy No Mates’ and ‘All My Friends’ following later in the night keeping everyone on their toes. What seemed an unusual choice was the ending. It is well known Knocked Loose end on ‘Counting Worms’ but ‘Permanent’ was the choice this time, although unusual it still went down just as well and seemed a perfect fit to what can only be described as a perfect show from the Oldham County natives.
Knocked Loose - https://www.facebook.com/KnockedLoose
Choir Boy - https://www.facebook.com/choirboyslc
Soft Kill - https://www.facebook.com/softkillportland
Review - Kensey Bailey