Live Review: Chasing Dragons @ Key Club Leeds

Support: Pulverise, Sertraline

Date: 29/02/20

Take it all in, for this is the final show of the story of Chasing Dragons. This would be possibly the great show of their careers, it was rowdy, energetic and downright crazy (some might say a touch clumsy from Adam, but that’s because when he came back on stage from the crowd, he immediately crashed into Kate’s drumkit and destroyed it) but enough of the spoilers, this last night, their farewell Leeds show was a triumphant look back into just what makes Chasing Dragons such a great band to experience live and from this, a celebration of just what the independent Hard Rockers have been able to achieve over the last decade together as a band.

Turning things up to eleven from the very start of things were Rap Metal Partycore (at least this is what they go by on their bio) heavy hitters, Pulverise. This was my first time experiencing this band live and wow, they were just a joy to watch! Everything just seemed to flow naturally for this band but it did look as if you were tripping through half their set because that’s why it was so great to watch. You just never really know what you’re going to get from some bands you see for the first time. High energy riffs and headbanging all around, what more could you want to get things going in the Key Club?

Moving onto the main support of the evening was the Progressive Mettalers; Sertraline. I did have a quick chat with another attendee on the evening, saying that this band were probably the more technical band on the evening and I do have to say that description was fairly accurate. Still, though, the rhythm sections of the band were perfection where the solos cut in to delve into the mix very well. In this, Lizzie’s vocals were tuned almost to perfection where some of the changes from the scream vocals to the clean were lacking as they weren’t as smooth as others in the set. Apart from this though, my only complaint is that their set wasn’t longer because they were pretty fun to watch but I think maybe they gear towards a younger crowd as I think they could’ve gotten a little more out of the audience, especially with their energy output. Still, I’ll be happy to attend a headlining set in the future which I can’t wait to see.

Now after an anxious wait, Chasing Dragons came onto one smoky but thunderous applause, especially with the appropriately named, ‘How The World Went Black’, to open up their set. Powering through some energetic riffs we’ve all come to know and love, especially where ‘Bare Knuckle Lover’ and ‘Parasite’ (Not at all connected with the Oscar-winning 2020 film of the same name) are concerned. All of this is made captivating by a mix of things; Tank’s vocals which just sound absolutely pristine as she leads the fold, which then goes into Kate erupting behind on the drums where you can just see her slamming away and enjoying every moment, then you have riff master Adam who looks as if he’s about to go ballistic tucked away onto the left hand of the stage but from here, it’s as if he’s cooking something truly spine-tingling and last but not least the deep grumble of the one and only man (but not the only one with facial hair on stage tonight) with some glistening facial hair and even more badass on bass; Murf moving into some slyly duotastic moments with everyone on stage.

Switching things over (into an out of tune guitar at first) to an acoustic part of the show, where Tank did dedicate ‘Bravery, Honestly’ to her wife was just so touching and amazing to witness where you could see her stage presence is unmatched, even if a larger band playing on this stage. Not only did she perform that track, but she also performed Shinedown’s ‘How Did You Love’ and you just can’t imagine anything better right now. The intimacy that came with the timing of these tracks in the set is something that’s really lost on a lot of bands but here, Chasing Dragons deliver a gut-punching few acoustic treatments that just beats anything I’ve seen this year so far and quite possibly, within the last few years.

That wasn’t the end though as they kept pulsating through some crowd-pleasers, ‘For Kingdom, For Glory’, Throw Down For King’ just blow everyone away and surpass the expectations that have come to be expected from this band tonight. There was some crowd surfing going on (This is where I said enough of the spoilers so apologies for the repetition in advance) with Tank and Adam but with him, he immediately loses his balance and crashes into Kate’s drumkit, where she just has the most shocked face on in the world and you have to wonder, the look she has on, is it one of ‘Oh no, not again’!, as if he did it on the previous night as well. But nevertheless, Adam soldiers on and marches straight back to his feet, as if he’s Kyle Reece sent back to protect the bands set if this was a musical Terminator film (which would be interesting to watch, now that I think about.)

The last two tracks Chasing Dragons would ever play you ask? Well, that could only be ‘Spawn Of The Succubus’ and ‘Devil In Her Eyes’. I think it dawned on everyone there, no matter what the energy was during these last two tracks (both were high octane, as it should be) is that they have gone above and beyond throughout this set and lived past expectations of an unsigned band as they should be but now, this will live in the bands memory, or at least Tank’s as she declared, (and I can’t remember the exact word for words she used so don’t hold me to this) that ‘This is my favourite show ever’. And it’s not hard to see why; it’s a packed house, some moshing, high energy and right at the end of the set they bring out the Champagne, of which they got me good! And when I say they got me good, they hit me right in the face with it! It’s a good feeling right there I do have to say. Hopefully, all the band members will spin off into some different musical projects because the talent every individual member has, it would be a shame if they didn’t.

Rating 9/10

Live Review: Bad Pollyanna @ The Crescent, York

Support: BoneOrchids, Chasing Dragons

Date: 22/06/19

This was hands down my favourite gig of 2019 so far! It had everything: Amazing bands, community and an encore! This was run by Black Rose Events who were raising money for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation where they had a night of female fronted live music in the form of York-based Psychedelic Blues Rockers BoneOrchids, the heavy hard hitting Chasing Dragons and headliners for the night, the mix of both beauty and darkness, the incredible Bad Pollyanna.

BoneOrchirds were a band I hadn’t heard of but was pleasantly surprised by. They took a few songs into their setlist to hit their stride but had some of the best confidence I’ve seen out of any openers of recent. Mixing the blues with any of the rock genres is a tricky task but they created it in a way which was a new experience for me, they didn’t just seem to stay in one place and its the subversion of the genre which made it all the more impactful.

Right, I’ll just say I’ve waited nearly a year to see Chasing Dragons for the first time! I was meant to see them supporting Hands Off Gretel in Leeds recently, but I was unable to because of work commitments, and part of me now wishes I did bunk off because all I can say is wow! Chasing Dragons are one of the best bands and the most enjoyable band as of late that I’ve had the privilege to watch. They just powered through their setlist as if they were a machine, with everyone just playing off each other as it seemed effortless for them. I’m just hoping this is a band that keeps this level of consistency with their body of work as they gave a near perfect performance as they gave an insight to what just would happen if they were headliners on the night. They might not be as well known as some of the bands they open for but I’ll say this, give it time and they will conquer.

Right out of the bat, Bad Pollyanna are a joy to watch. They were atmospheric, hard-hitting and thoughtful. In fact, I think the atmosphere just stays with you right up until the point Olivia (Vocals) voice is compared to the one and only Amy Lee of Evanescence. I’m just thinking about this now but her’s is the best voice in live music I’ve heard since I’ve seen them in a live capacity where it feels as if she’s lifting your soul straight from your body. I know that seems far fetched but just listen to ‘Invincible Girl’ or even ‘Hollow’. Just listen to those because you will not be disappointed. Their showmanship was something else as well. I’ve not seen a band be so natural and authentic as these three bands on the stage of The Crescent and its from here, it shows just a small sample of what the industry is missing out on where the performance for Bad Pollyanna just seems effortless. It’s for reasons such as this it makes every concert memorable, every track amazing and every lyric all the more meaningful for the audience who come in and absorb just what happens there.

Rating: 8/10