The Horrors @ Bierkeller, Bristol, 25/10/2017

The HorrorsFew venues manage to live up to the mystique of the Bierkeller. Lying deep in the underbelly of central Bristol, it could easily be confused as the loading bay for the towering office block it lies beneath. Inside you are greeted to a dark, oddly furnished (concrete lion sculptures?!), low ceiling space. Tonight, it plays a fitting host to Southend-on-Sea rockers The Horrors.

It has been a massive year for the band. They have spent their summer supporting Depeche Mode on their European stadium tour and have just released their long-awaited (three years, but who’s counting?) fifth album V. For a band of such stature, the relatively small Bierkeller feels like an odd choice. However, it seems that the ambiance of the venue is more fitting than anywhere else in the city.

Taking to the stage 20 minutes late, the band open with new song "Hologram". From the off, it is clear that front and back of the Bierkeller are experiencing vastly different shows. The crowd close to stage exhibit the usual dance and sway, whereas the music at the rear is quiet enough to talk over. For a band renowned for such a strong sound, it's shame that its power is lost so quickly.

"Machine" and "Who Can Say" are played through almost back-to-back, with no stage patter to fill the lulls between. While this lack of chat fits in well with the band's enigmatic aura, it does make the show feel unengaging at times.

The show's saving grace is the masses of light. It seems that no expense is spared for the show, as almost every part of the stage floor is filled with either band or lights. Playing the entire gig bathed in light, the only glimpse I catch of frontman Faris Badwan is the silhouette of his unkempt head of hair. While light shows can become overbearing and prove to be more of a distraction, the one tonight teams up to the music and delivers the show that the audience and band deserve.

Crowd pleaser and big tune "Still Life" gets the people moving. A crowd surfer is lifted in the air, and Faris sings the hit directly at him. The band reappear for an encore and close the set with "Something to Remember Me By". For such an esteemed act, it was a shame that The Horrors did not live up to their usual stature.


One Response to “The Horrors @ Bierkeller, Bristol, 25/10/2017”


  1. The Horrors @ Bierkeller, Bristol, 25/10/17 – Live List - 31/10/2017

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