Live Gig Underground II - Cologne

Dead Swans with Horror Show and Hanging Tough

Pukkelpop Festival 2011 - 18.08.2011 - Hasselt, Belgien(Jan/28/2012) This might be the last chance to see British hardcore outfit DEAD SWANS for a long time. Only a few days before today’s show they announced via Facebook that they quit playing shows for some time. Well, this is nothing new actually. The band took a year long break from touring during 2011. But with a new EP, called “Anxiety And Everything Else”, which is to be released in February, they tour through Europe once again.
First band for this evening is HANGING TOUGH from Cologne. Their sound does not fit into the tour line-up of HORROR SHOW and DEAD SWANS. The local support plays straight edge hardcore. So there is not much of the dark atmosphere of these two groups in their songs. HANGING TOUGH play their hardcore straight and mostly under two minutes. You might say that these guys are really into old MADBALL or SICK OF IT ALL. But you will not say that this is quite good stuff – for sure.

After HANGING TOUGH’s fifteen minutes it is up to HORROR SHOW. From the very first moment the crowd seems to enjoy the band’s set. They sound a lot like GIVE UP THE GHOST, which is not a bad reference. But the crowd really gets rad as HORROR SHOW’s singer jumps into it. Their furious but melodic and dark hardcore is really enjoyable. Songs like ‘Stay Gold’ get a warm welcome by those who are familiar with the Americans.
But people are just waiting for DEAD SWANS. And it is great to see that the club is filled with a lot of fans. If you think back to shows two years ago most people showed up for the other bands. Even during the DEAD SWANS headlining tour with MORE THAN LIFE as support, most people attended for the latest.

Unterwegs in - © sumnersgraphicsinc - Fotolia.comThe band starts straight with ‘Thinking Of You’, the opener of their still recent debut record “Sleepwalkers” released in 2009. Their audience enters the stage from the very first moment to get a shot at the microphone. Actually singer Nick should be grateful for his fans’ help, for I’ve seen/heard him in a far better shape. But when he IS actually singing his voice is as full as ever (After the tour it was announced that Nick toured with a broken rip and was under the influence of painkillers). During their furious set they preview two new tunes, taken off their soon to be released ep. ‘I’ve Been Trying To Leave’ is a great song, even tough some moments seem very familiar if you also know the band’s song ‘07/20/07’. The rest is taken mostly off “Sleepwalkers”. Sadly there is no ‘Lines Of Seperation’ taken from their “Southern Blue” ep, but ‘The Hanging Sun’ does a real good job as well.

After these thirty minutes it is obvious that DEAD SWANS are at top of the European hardcore scene. There are not many bands that provide better shows than this British outfit. Other bands would have stopped the tour if there were any bones broken but this one keep on touring and playing energetic shows like this one.

Text by © by Sebastian Berning