Breed 77 and guests at Oxford O2 Academy

Evavoid, Black Sunrise, Salvage, Bricks & Mortar and Breed 77

Oxford O2 Academy

30th November 2013

Many years ago when I was young and a night out consisted of drinking ALL OF THE CIDER I saw Breed 77 play back when the O2 Academy was called The Zodiac. At least, I *think* I did. It’s all a bit fuzzy to be honest, but recollections of my misspent youth aside, the minute I heard the mighty Skeletor Promotions was running a show with Breed 77 at the top of the bill I did the little happy dance of joy (it is very metal happy dance of joy) and then went and sorted out a ticket, because I’ve wanted to see them properly ever since then, and I rather like them.

Before we get to discussing those warriors of flamenco fused alternative metal, we must however, first discuss the very lengthy support list drawn from boundless talent that seems to flourish in the city of the dreaming spires. First up were Evavoid

Evavoid. Photo Credit: Suzi H
Evavoid. Photo Credit: Suzi H

These guys made me feel old – I mean looking at them I was sure I was old enough to be their Mum! But they were enthusiastic enough, and they’re quite hard rock sounding- they’re up on Reverbnation and I suspect they’ll be popping up more and more the local scene. It’s hard to say much about them- I missed the first few songs, but what I saw was good, although they do need to learn about water bottles with sports tops- unscrewing a two litre bottle of water mid set does rather disrupt the flow of things. Still it will be interesting to see where they go.

Next band up were Black Sunrise, a local trio who are so old school they don’t have a Facebook page, or a band-camp profile or anything. And co-incidentally all of my pictures of them came up like someone had smeared Vaseline all over the lens. Black Sunrise are a groove metal-esque (apparently) group but they were beset by technical problems – the vocals were so quiet they were drowned out (and I was in the front row), the bassist/vocalist had an amp problem at the start of the set and it just sort of didn’t really work all that well. What they played was enjoyable however, and I would definitely like to see them again on a night when the sound balance was working, and the vocalist didn’t have a cold. Not a bad band by any stretch of the imagination but they didn’t set the venue on fire.

I went and paid the Merch stand a little visit at this point and then quickly got myself back down the the front when Salvage burst onto the stage and sucker punched everyone with a nice set full of metalcore goodness.

Salvage. Photo Credit: Suzi H
Salvage. Photo Credit: Suzi H

They assured everyone that their much delayed EP (‘We should have released it three months ago’) will be out soon, and yes, WWRS will be reviewing it, just as soon as I get my grubby little mitts on a copy. The drummer played so hard his knuckles bled and the bassists t-shirt was covered in submarines. These are all things that contribute to a great show, and these guys were great- I very thoroughly enjoyed them.

I did not enjoy them as much as the next band however – Bricks&Mortar who just EXPLODED onto the stage and rarely spent all of their time on the stage – Kial on vocals spent most of the set on the barrier and gave us all a treat by twerking (rather well, Miley should call him for lessons), Shaun and Alex (on guitar and bass) routinely wandered into the middle of the pit to play – a circle pit had opened by the start of track two, dear Moshers, I thank you for the bruise on the back of my arm – and there was absolutely no breathing space in the entire set. For god only knows what reason no-one has signed these guys yet- an error I feel, because they have a loyal and devoted following and unlike some bands, they actually DESERVE it- there were people in the crowd last night who had come specifically to see Bricks&Mortar so the future for these guys is clearly very bright!

Bricks&Mortar. Photo Credit- Suzi
Bricks&Mortar. Photo Credit- Suzi

Finally they deserve mention as a chap with a splendid afro was attending his first gig, and to welcome him to the heavy metal family, they put him in the middle of a circle pit for the final track with the bassist and guitarist as protection and gave him a first gig to truly remember – I wish someone had done something that awesome for my first gig!

Utimately,  we come to the mighty Breed 77. Now of course, everyone knows that Paul Isola left the band – on good terms, there’s no drama here – earlier this year and that long time friend of the band Rui Lopez stepped in, and the question on everyone’s mind last night was ‘Can he cut it? Will this still be the Breed 77 we know and love?’

Breed 77. Photo Credit- Suzi H
Breed 77. Photo Credit- Suzi H

I am ecstatic to say the answer is a resounding YES – Rui can cut it. From the opening bars of ‘Fear’ to he closing notes of ‘Burn, City, Burn‘ Rui is a front-man with energy, stage presence and a fantastic growl on him – this could be the start of a more routinely heavy Breed. Rui doesn’t have the delicacy that Paul brought to the vocals but he is good.

Aside from the inevitable discussion about the vocals the rest of the band remain as excellent as always – Danny and Pedro were on top form on the guitars front and Stuart provided a solid comforting block of bass. Andre on drums is new since I last saw the band, but he fits in perfectly and this new line up is looking tight.The only disappointment of the set was that ‘Look at me ‘ and ‘The River‘ didn’t see play in favour of new material from Evil Inside, but that’s always going to be the case- old material makes way for the new, and every fan of every band leaving the gig can tell you a song they WISH had been in the set list that wasn’t. It was gutting when the show finished- I could have happily watched them play for another hour, and I am very excited about seeing them next year on the Metal stage at Alt-Fest. Until then, I’ll be sticking to my CD collection and waiting for next year’s tour dates announcements!

****/5

2 thoughts on “Breed 77 and guests at Oxford O2 Academy”

  1. It was my nephew who was the guy with the afro and I would like to say thanks to Bricks&Mortar and all who made it such a memorable first gig for him. He also said how friendly everyone was and he’s really looking forward to the next one ^.^

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