The Horrors – Digital, Newcastle, October 18th

I can give you exactly the date of the last time I saw The Horrors. June 8th 2009, it was a Sunday and I went with a guy. A lot has changed in that year and a half, I no longer talk to the guy and The Horrors have transformed into an incredible monster. Opening with the fantastic Changing The Rain off recent Top 5 album ‘Skying’ it was clear that the band were pulling all the stops out. Segueing into the fantastically fairground 60s influenced Who Can Say, by way of a muffled “I’m having throat problems” from lead singer Faris Badwan.

My only (at this point) disappointment of the night came before new single I Can See Through You, where Faris took it upon himself to have a little moan, imploring the crowd to follow the example of the section in the middle and “actually fucking move”. I’m all for moody frontmen, but at least be polite. I’m not even going to start on how the band rarely move to their own music, with the exception of guitarist Joshua Hayward, who was quite a hit with the ladies last night if the girl in front of me is anything to go by.

Rattling through a combination of tracks from ‘Skying’ and previous release ‘Primary Colours’, including an energetic rendition of Three Decades (I lost count of the number of times I got a wallop to the head, I wasn’t the happiest bunny after 4 hours at work previous) and ending brilliantly with an incredible version of Sea Within A Sea, yes all 8 minutes or so, and first tater track from ‘Skying’ Still Life. The crowd looked like they enjoyed it, even of the band didn’t *insert standard miserable goth joke here*.

A brief disappearance to play the will they won’t they encore guessing game that grinds my gears, the band returned to resounding cheers before diving straight into Mirrors’ Image and my personal favourite ‘Skying’ track Moving Further Away. Faris was long forgiven for his earlier moan, but I was left with the sore disappointment of a gig excluding tracks from debut ‘Strange House’ , the comedy Goth era that many (me excluded) wish they’d forget. I mean all I want is a little bit of Draw Japan, is that really too much to ask for?

Brief mention to the fantastic support band TOY, who fitted the bill perfectly for the night and were pretty darn good. Avid readers of this terrible blog may be shocked to hear I enjoyed a support band, since I almost universally hate them, but TOY proved a rather spectacular exception to the rule. Highlight of their set had to be their recent single, but currently trawling the internet I can find very little about them. (Am I a bad researcher for this? Or just incredibly lazy?) Anyway, part of me loves this, and the other part is currently enamored with bothThe Horrors and Toy.

And to end it, here’s an obligatory extremely terrible Blackberry photo of the aforementioned Joshua Hayward. I’m sure you’re used to my terrible photos by now.


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