Things haven’t gone smoothly for The Agonist’s latest tour. It was originally supposed to be supporting Otep but they pulled out so The Agonist took over as headliners and brought a couple of other bands along on the tour. Last time they played in London the Garage was only around half full, but tonight it’s even worse – the gig has been moved to the far smaller venue upstairs – a venue so small that when you go to the toilet you have to duck to avoid the bassist or guitarists instrument as you squeeze past the stage. Sadly even with the move upstairs the venue isn’t full – at most there are only around 50 people there to see the bands – a pretty depressing turnout when the bands playing have travelled from Canada, Israel and the Netherlands.
First up tonight is Dutch metal band Selfmachine. The bass player uses a 6 string bass, so you know this isnt just simple run of the mill metal – it’s a bit more complex musically than that. Vocals are mainly the shoty/growly style but there are also some clean vocals. While they were good, it just didn’t really appeal to me, but they did get a fairly good reception from the crowd. Any band that can do a song about a sex toy (I Sybian) clearly has a good sense of humour too. If you’re going to one of the shows on the tour make sure you get down early enough to check these guys out.
Ferium were next up. An agressive death metal band from Israel they’re playing their first UK gig tonight, and judging by how quickly they get the crowd headbanging and enjoying their set they made a good decision coming here. Their half hour set does seem to fly by which is always a good sign, and they finish having made a great impression on the audience. Definitely a band well worth checking out.
The Agonist last played the Garage 18 months ago and at that time had Alyssa White-Gluz as their singer, but since then she has departed to front Arch Enemy, and has been replaced by Vicky Psarakis. It’s a tough role to fill as The Agonist use growling vocals as well as more melodic clean vocals, so finding a singer who can do both well isn’t easy, but with Vicky they’ve made a good choice. She’s got a more relaxed style than Alyssa when it comes to fronting the band, but does a great job. When the crowd is this small then it can be difficult to get a good atmosphere going but Vicky manages it with ease and there are lots of people headbanging, and it doesn’t take long for a moshpit to start.
The guys in the band all put in great performances too, but did seem slightly constrained by the lack of space – headbanging in the wrong place could easily result in concussion as the speakers are so poorly located (they block the view of some fans as well as getting in the way of the bands).
The Agonist were great tonight, and the other two bands also did well. It’s just a shame that there weren’t more fans there to enjoy the show.[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157651470302805″ size=”z” count=”100″]