Nicholas Ruffilo, guitarist for Bad Omens, posted on his twitter page that he loved the new track, Why, from Cane Hill’s recently released album, Too Far Gone. After listening to the track and subsequently the whole album; Cane Hill had immediately gained another fan. So, thanks Nick for your suggestion; I love to hear other people’s recommendations of new music, especially from bands that I already follow. The twitter post was dated 21st January and after researching the band, I was ecstatic to discover they were performing in London in 4 days’ time, supporting Motionless in White. Huge disappointment ensued, when I realized the gig had already sold out. To cut a long story short, I eventually managed to buy a ticket from another fan who could no longer make it on the day. I then had a crash course learning all Cane Hill’s back catalogue, so I would be word perfect for the gig.
On a very cold and dark Thursday evening, I walked from the bus stop near King’s Cross Station, to join the queue of fans lined up outside Koko, a venue in Camden, North London, with a capacity of 1,500. The queue snaked around the barriers outside the sold-out venue along Crowndale Road and stretched back along Camden High Street. I joined the queue around 19:15 next to The Cobden Arms pub and rapidly the line of waiting fans extended to the corner of Plender Street. Everyone was dressed all in black, including me. I was intrigued to see how people expressed themselves creatively with black and white heavy make-up, face and ear piercings and an array of hoodies and t-shirts displaying every metal band you could think of. People commented that they had never seen such a long queue outside this venue before, even passers-by asked with curiosity, who was playing that night. The queue went down extremely slowly, and we stood outside in disappointment as we heard the first support band start up inside.
Finally, inside the venue, but frustrated that I only heard the last song by support band, Ice Nine Kills. Apparently, they performed a half hour set. The venue, was heaving, as you would expect from a sold-out event, with everyone tactfully looking for a good vantage point. The venue was originally a theatre, so the layout consists of 4 tiers, originally the stalls, dress circle, upper circle and the gods but no longer with any seating. I decided to work my way up to the upper circle because downstairs was packed. I achieved a good view, even though I was high up from the stage, the sound quality was still amazing from there.
Cane Hill took to a stage of red strobe lights starting with Time Bomb from their 2015 self-titled, 7-track EP. Elijah Witt’s vocals “Tick, tick, tick, tick, BOOM!” indicating a countdown to an explosion of nu-metalcore that would set the pace for the evening. They were immediately addictive to watch and hear, with all band members putting in 100% effort to please the crowd. Bassist, Ryan Henriquez with his hypnotising hair swinging and singer Elijah Witt, striding across every inch of the stage whilst communicating with the crowd. Lord of Flies was an instant crowd-pleaser with Witt bellowing “give me more” and “let’s open this pit up” as a mosh pit developed in-front of the band. Ugly Model Mannequin and 10 Cents were absolutely fucking insane. Then followed the title track of their new album, Too Far Gone, only just released over a week ago. The audience could tell Cane Hill were proud to share this new song. Witt singing “cause we tripped, and we tripped until our brains fell in the ditch, and we never found a fix” and the crowd chanting back to the stage “cause we don’t exist!”. At the end of the track, a guy standing near me shouted towards the stage “God, I feel good…I’ve been waiting for that song all fucking night!”. Fountain of Youth concluded their 45-minute set, with Cane Hill promising they would return to London in the future, to headline their own tour.
The New Orleans 4-piece have evolved and captured their unique sound of heavy but refined, memorable, and catchy songs that certainly won the London crowd over.
Set List: Time Bomb, Lord of Flies, It Follows, True Love, Ugly Model Mannequin, Erased, 10 cents, Too Far Gone, Cream Pie, Fountain of Youth.
Next up were headliners, Motionless in White who appeared on a blue stage surrounded by a magnitude of white strobe lights. A row of steps either side of the stage provided a raised platform for rhythm guitarist, Ricky “Horror” Olsen and bassist, Devin “Ghost” Sola with drummer, Vinny Mauro, centre stage. Vocalist, Chris “Motionless” Cerulli and lead guitarist, Ryan Sitkowski were flanked by two females with long, dark hair, in mini PVC dresses, wearing rodent ears and carrying whips to the first song, Rats. Cerulli shouted at the crowd “London are you fucking ready?”, and a chorus of high-pitched screams followed. I must admit, I was at a disadvantage because I only knew songs from the band’s latest album, but its part of being at a gig when you feed off other people’s energy and enthusiasm. A theatrical start to their set and Cerulli telling the audience that they would go home blind with the amount of lights they had on stage that night. He was wearing a long black top which fastened at the shoulder, black PVC jeans and metallic goth boots. He looked striking with heavy, black, eye make-up and black, slick-backed, undercut hair. The second song was Reincarnate, which the crowd sang back word for word…including me. There was plenty of hair-flicking and headbanging to Necessary Evil from the band and audience alike. With the lyrics “Imma have my cake and fucking eat you too” shouted by the crowd back towards the stage. Outstanding double-drumming during songs such as Soft, was phenomenal, to a point I was mesmerised by Mauro’s drumming and nothing else. Cerulli was joined by the two females again during Loud, this time they were dressed as cheerleaders in purple and green. Swapping their pom-poms mid-song for boards displaying the word “Dead”. The atmosphere appeared to increase during this song and A-M-E-R-I-C-A. The evening then reached its climatic peak when the band played Immaculate Misconception with the crowd yelling the famous lyrics, “Open your mind before your mouth or come and fucking get us!”. The encore, Eternally Yours, concluded Motionless in White’s flawless, 90-minute set.
Set List: Rats, Reincarnate, Necessary Evil, Soft, Abigail, 570, London in Terror, Hatefuck, Voices, Loud (Fuck It), A-M-E-R-I-C-A, Dead As Fuck, Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2, Immaculate Misconception, Devil’s Night, Eternally Yours.
Cane Hill’s second studio album, Too Far Gone released 19th January 2018 on their home label, Rise Records. www.wearecanehill.com
Motionless in White’s fourth album, Graveyard Shift released 5th May 2017 on Roadrunner Records. www.motionlessinwhite.net
Until the next adventure…