Aussie punks Hellions are renowned for putting on a sweaty show, so when they announced a UK tour, boasting some of the most intimate venues around, it was clear they were going in hard. With a 100 max capacity, Nottingham’s Red Rooms is the epitome of intimate, which could only mean chaos.
Opening the night were local band Skies in Motion. Despite hailing from all over the world, the band reside in Derby, showcasing their predominantly metal sound, with elements of melodic hardcore apparent. With their impressive EP Dreamer, the guys jump straight into their familiar material, which goes down a treat with the growing crowd. Frontman Adam Connor discusses details of an upcoming album, which signifies cheers from front to back. Personal favourite Vagabond highlights their tightness as a band, with Connor’s vocals essentially immaculate. A promising set for these guys, who have huge potential in their scene.
Tour support Acres take on a much more melodic approach in their music, with vocalist Ben Lumber’s cathartic performance taking this band from good to great. Crying out their songs with undeniable passion is what draws this crowd in, and paired with such an aggressive yet elegant sound, it’s hard not to be hooked. Personal favourite Peninsula highlights the somewhat haunting melancholia that dominates their music, and also puts the crowd into a trance. Lumber’s words feel almost poetic, emphasizing this band’s talent, as well as intimacy. A great performance sets the bar high for up and coming melodic hardcore.
Having seeing Hellions a few weeks back with hardcore veterans Comeback Kid, I was eagerly anticipating their set, and with pretty high expectations. Unsurprisingly, they storm the stage with ballad-like opener '24', signifying the sing alongs for the rest of the set. Frontman Dre Faivre’s cheeky persona aids the crowd’s participation, with most singing the words back with arms in the air. Recent release Opera Oblivia was out in full force for this set, with fan favourites 'Quality of Life' and 'Lotus Eater' opening the pit, as well as initiating the two steppers. It seemed only a minute before Faivre found himself in the crowd, sharing his mic with the eager fans who filled front stage. His vocals are arguably the highlight of the set, showcasing the coarseness we are oh so familiar with. Performing single Nottingham in the very city sent the crowd into meltdown, with the whole room moshing in unison.
Closing with 'Thresher' took the pace down, with the crowd still 100% involved with Faivre, who still hadn’t left the crowd. If this set proves anything, it’s that Opera Oblivia is one of the strongest releases of 2016, and that Hellions know how to work their audience. An incredible set from the Aussies leaves Red Rooms on a high.
Photos by Ryan Winstanley