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Live Review : Cruxshadows
Cruxshadows had been playing the UK on an annual basis – perhaps that was a little bit too often for the Tallahassee Darkwave group. It’s actually been three years since the Cruxshadows toured the UK and six since they were last in Newcastle – there’s quite a lot of excitement building as a very enthusiastic crowd arrives.
First though, there are two support bands. Leeds trio SPEKULUS open abrasively. Vocalist Amanda Amorphic leads the line with a style not a million miles away from the sharp and scathing Jessicka Fodera. Taking influences from the heavier end of Nine Inch Nails spectrum, they blast, scowl and scream their way through their 30-minute set.
ALTERRED definitely seem better suited to a bigger stage. Not just because there are 6 of them including the two ‘dolls’ but because their sound and performance really fills the space.
Spinning tracks from their first two albums, frontman Mikey teases the crowd into their twisted world of abstract-cabaret and darkwave-electro. It’s not really a jump around and dance set, more observe and let the journey begin.
Clear influences from IAMX and the darker side of 80s synths, it is a triumphant and rewarding performance that appeals heavily to tonight’s crowd. With shows like this it’s no wonder the tour has gone well for them.
Perhaps it’s a brave move by THE CRUXSHADOWS to play so many new songs tonight. The album isn’t actually out until this coming weekend and as such a third of tonight’s setlist is unknown to the audience. However, it is familiar territory for fans – dancefloor influenced darkwave packed with up-beat messages. They’re very much a feel-good band at times. In every dark scene there is light, hope amongst the hopeless and the brave ones who’ll stand up for what they believe in. Much better than ‘bitches and hoes’.
Being a 7-piece act there’s always a lot going on – two violinists jumping around, a guitarist floating in and out, dancers, keyboards and of course Rogue, the Goth scene’s answer to Edmund Hilary, who looks determined to explore and climb every crevasse of every venue. Ever.
While the new stuff is promising, the classics are building up and ‘Quicksilver’, ‘Sophia’ and ‘Birthday’ are amongst those standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of ‘Winterborn’, ‘Deception’ and ‘Marilyn, My Bitterness’ which gives them an arsenal to be one of the better live acts, simply by having so many top grade tracks.
They are a fun live act and one that really generates a good positive atmosphere, what being away for 3 years has really shown is that they have been missed from our live circuit. They should play here more often, though not quite as often as they were.