Live Review: Employed To Serve @ Newcastle Think Tank

Date: 23/07/18

Support: Lizzy Farrall

Pulsating with energy and the booming vocals to match, this can only be an Employed To Serve gig. It’s not their first high energy gigs of the year as well, having hit up different parts of the UK just before the festival season arrived, to well and truly thrust this band back into the spotlight. What’s more is that they had their amazing record behind them, ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’ in full to back them up all the way. What you have to remember here as well, this is the closing chapter for the record, which did huge things for them and got them to tour so many amazing places and they were sure to have a few surprises in store but above all, a headbanging good time for everyone in attendance tonight And for a Monday night, the fans were truly ready to show Newcastle what it was missing from its city. From the outset, I was hoping to see something truly amazing tonight, to see this community of music lovers unite when bands do tend to skip Newcastle sometimes. What I was able to see though,  is the reason why bands come to Newcastle.


First up were Leeched. They’re a Hardcore band hailing from Manchester and are a group that demands your attention! What I saw was something more atmospheric than anything, particularly down to their new tracks off their debut record ‘You Took The Sun When You Left’ which included ‘The Stone And The Steel’. Don’t get me wrong, Leeched were absolutely fantastic and they couldn’t have done any better if they tried. On the other hand,  I was a little mad at the audience that they didn’t bounce off the walls for some of their heavier hitting tracks though, as it seemed as if it was the perfect time to be doing so but Leeched didn’t care in the slightest. What they came to Newcastle and on the tour to do was show Newcastle just who they are and why they demand your attention right now. For that, I applaud them and will look forward to seeing the moshers at the next gig and hopefully see more new material from them.


Onward to Rough Hands. I really didn’t know what to expect at the first glance. They could’ve been anything from an Indie band to Pop-Punk based on their look. But you had to see that first note play and then these comparisons were shattered instantly. They were inherently a band you just had to listen to from the start. What’s more polarizing was the way they delivered themselves. Again, their sound did come across as something more atmospheric than I’m used to but they delivered everything a good set should be promised of; massive sounds, great vocals and should they have a good audience, a little bit of movement. What I was failing to understand again, was why didn’t anyone move again? But at the end of the day, it didn’t matter because what we all came to see were performances from brilliant acts. That being said, I’m hoping Rough Hands are on to be the next big thing for the hardcore scene and if that comes true, who else better to mentor them than Employed To Serve? They have all the makings to be a force to be reckoned with in the future, and with that in mind, this is what makes their material so unique, just take a track such as ‘Symptoms Of Regressions’ fall into this category as it mixes the soft vocals which are inherently unpredictable and them mashes the hardcore to fill yourself with the energy frontman Alex channels.


Now, moving to the headline act in Employed To Serve. I was expecting things to be loud and rowdy, and I was not disappointed. It was for any ETS fan, probably what they’d been waiting for since the record was released as what came forth was uncontrollable energy in the form of ‘The Warmth Of A Dying Sun’ which as many people probably do know is a fine record in the hardcore genre of recent memory. What’s more is that the band were just captivating to watch from start to finish (I had to leave three-quarters of the way into the set but everyone got their money’s worth from them). But apart from the tracks and the stage presence of the band, what else can be said about the band? One thing is that the live music seems more polished than ever as it was just clear and concise, no mucking around from them because they came to bring the audience some mayhem and that’s exactly what they did. For anybody lucky enough to see them on their short UK run, you’ll have been in for a treat of a show because from the announcement, I knew the tour was going to be something special. They’re a band that doesn’t want to overdue touring the UK at the moment and you can see why. No, it’s not because we’re getting sick of them. It’s because we don’t want too much of a good thing. It’s something that needs to be special for them and the fans and which new music on the horizon, I can’t wait to see what will become of the set next-time as more carnage will be guaranteed.


Rating: 8/10


Rough Hands

Employed To Serve

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