SUPPORT: lotus eater, palm reader
WORDS: EVE SALES
The second band of the night, PALM READER (7) congregate to the stage as the crowd makes its way back into the main room to take their places, either front and centre to ‘head-bang until their brain rots’, as a fans t-shirt proudly proclaims, or towards the back where safety and the chance of making it home in one piece is more likely. Hailing from Nottingham, Palm Reader are off to a slightly slow start but there is a definite improvement from Lotus Eater as the melodic lead guitar leads a cohesive performance between vocalist Josh Mckeown and the rest of the five piece. Their setlist is heavy with third and latest release ‘Braille’ from early 2018 which received positive reviews across metal and punk publications. In comparison to the previous act, Palm Reader’s breakdowns slow towards track fall and emphasise their experience with heavy reverb and a possible overuse of the various crash cymbals that surround Dan Old’s drum kit. The electric element that descends over the end of the set sits well with the gloomy surroundings of The Star and Garter and Palm Reader win over much of the crowd although their time onstage is cut short to prepare the stage for headliners BLOOD YOUTH (9).
Their long haired guitarist upturns a tinny over his head to kick of their set which unfortunately only adds to the smell of stale beer and body odour that the attending crowd has achieved over the course of the evening. Vocalist Kaya Tarsus announces opener Spineless with a bellow, a circle pit opens and the whole room erupts into chaos. Crowd participation reaches its peak as a Mexican wave style head bang swarms throughout and provides an interesting, and impressive, aesthetic to the evening.
A well planned setlist breaks up heavier tracks to more melodic and calmer offerings which gives the attendees a chance to catch their breaths, take a swig from their now half empty ciders and prep themselves for the next breakdown heavy singalong, which Blood Youth do so well.
A highlight of the forty minute set include I Remember, a catchy and captivating track which has even the few scattered, sitting at the back throwing gun fingers towards the stage. The post hardcore outfit seem to have outgrown the small venue as Tarsus notes they played the same place two years ago to around ten people, showing an impressive growth for the band but also limiting what they are able to offer the high energy crowd. Keep You Alive and Reason to Stay keep the circle pits swinging and it’s almost impressive that no one leaves the room with a bloody nose.
They close their set with the popular Starve from their recent release and exit the stage leaving the room shouting for more. Overall, Blood Youth show why they are an upcoming force in the hardcore scene and their inclusion on the newly updated 2000 Trees lineup and Handmade Festival only proves that they are here to stay. However, hopefully next time they expand to a larger venue and show the best of what they can be.