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American head charge – Craufurd arms, Milton Keynes – 18th September 2017

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American head charge’s European tour reached Milton Keynes after a relentless three weeks soft touring with not a single night off – a schedule that is hard for bands to sustain.

It’s a four band lineup and the night gets under way with German band Reptil. I always try and get to gigs early to see the support acts, and tonight is a good example of why I do that – sometimes the opening acts are so good they’re worth the ticket price by themselves. Reptil are one of those bands. It’s not just the heavy industrial music, it’s a very performance oriented show so there’s that visual element too. Sadly the lighting was so bad that the band were practically in the dark, which did lose a lot of the impact of their performance but despite that they were impressive enough for me to head to the merch stand after their set to buy a copy of their CD.

The brutal tour schedule had taken its toll on the singer for the next act, Australian band, In death. He was unwell and unable to sing so the band gave us an instrumental death metal set. It’s a shame as it sounded pretty good but without the vocals you lose a lot.

Next up was Liv Sin, former lead singer of Sister Sin. It’s not long since her debut solo album came out so it’s no surprise that her set is almost entirely based around that album. Liv always puts in an energetic performance and tonight is no different – it’s exhausting just to watch her as she races around the stage as she sings. She’s assembled a very good band and they too put in a great performance. There was one small slip as distracted by a fan wearing a sister Sin Tshirt, she introduced them as Sister sin before quickly correcting herself and saying Liv Sin.

 

Finally it was time for American head charge. Their last album, Tango umbrella has been out for over a year now, which means the fans have had plenty of time to get to know the songs before tonight’s show. They’ve drawn a decent crowd, which isn’t always easy for a midweek gig, and the crowd are definitely ready for a good night. The band were in great form and really did put in an impressive set. They’re a band that in recent years have been overlooked by many, but it’s clear from their set tonight that they have more than enough talent and great music to deserve more attention.

 

A great gig from all the bands on the bill.

 

Ant May
I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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