The south coast punks in Creeper have every right to be nervous ahead of their headline show at Camden’s Underworld.
Not least because the London show sold out with speed after being upgraded from the Barfly, but it feels very much like all eyes are on them right now. Hell, even their team have goosebumps ahead of the gig.
Creeper head up a promising bill of new British bands
With them tonight are Muskets (reckless grunge), Blood Youth (brutal breakdowns) and Grader (poetic hardcore); three brilliant new British bands, all with a different approach to making their mark on a flourishing scene. At the helm though, are Southampton’s Creeper. The band – Will, Ian, Sean, Hannah, Oliver and Dan – have been relentlessly praised by just about every rock critic out there since bursting onto the scene with 2014’s self-titled EP and tonight sees them create something altogether stunning. It doesn’t just live up to the hype, it smashes it apart and rebuilds it into something even bigger.
If you’re new to the Creeper cult, their passionate following is, put simply, something reminiscent of My Chemical Romance. Crucially though, this six-piece are carving out their very own style circa 2016. You’d fail to miss their striking Callous Heart patch (introduced alongside the 2015 EP) being represented at most punk and emo shows these days and as the sold out crowd pour into the basement venue, the modern cult takes shape.
Misery never goes out of style
Grabbing the anticipation by the throat, Creeper successfully floor the entire crowd as they open with VCR. Black Mass, The Honeymoon Suite and Valentine follow in quick succession, leaving the room to flow seamlessly into full mosh mode. It’s wild to finally hear Misery on a live stage, too; it’s a standout track from 2016’s The Stranger EP and it sounds breathtaking on this stage. It’s hard not to smile at the Bruce Springsteen reference in particular, as frontman Will Gould pours his influences and soul into the song. Alongside us are magazine editors, photographers, fans and venue staff in equal measures of awe.
Their punk ethos is still the beating heart of the band
Somewhere between supporting their local Southampton scene and singing to Roadrunner Records, Creeper have long been vocal about keeping DIY ethics at their heart. Tonight, this momentum and passion is demonstrated by fearless stage dives – we’re looking at you, Oliver Burdett (guitar), dynamic musicianship and a freedom to leave their inhibitions backstage. The euphoric encore of We Had A Pact and Novena cements the show as one we’ll never forget.
There’s no doubting how easy it would be to big up a band like Creeper based on hype alone, but with their passion, talent and creativity on show in such an authentic format tonight, it really is exciting to watch the British punks rise up the ranks. Be safe in the knowledge that this lot won’t be playing venues of this size for long.
Creeper, Underworld, 3/3/16
Like these photos? Check out loads more Creeper snaps from Jay Wennington via Instagram.com/jaywennington.