When you go to a rock show, one would normally expect eccentricity, energy and loud music. But with New Gravers Ashestoangels, we take the norm and times the mania by a thousand. Even before his own band began, vocalist Adam Crilly was invited onto the stage during main supporting act Saint[The]Sinner’s final song to partake in the hard-rock band’s madness. Squeezing onto the stage with all six members of Saint[The]Sinner is no mean feat, but Crilly embraced the chaos, mingling through the band and interacting with the crowd.

Minutes later, the entirety of the band graced the stage to begin ‘How to Bleed’s’ first outing mixed with some Ashestoangels classics. The five lads, with the addition of new guitarist Josh Jones, blasted open with firm fan favourites ‘Six Six Six’ and ‘The Wake’. Crilly wasted no time using the minimal stage space to his advantage, not standing still for more than a millisecond as he darted in and around his fellow band members. He may well have broken through walls and it wouldn’t have broken his stride.

As ‘Find Hell’ fired into life, so did the crowd. The ‘How to Bleed’ single has become something of an anthem in the past few months, and for good reason, it has a highly infectious quality with driving riffs from Jones and Adam Falkor. Powering through their repertoire of ‘Horror Cult’ and ‘With Tape and Needles’ classics, the guitarists and bassist Nico Venere took turns embracing the audience from all sides of the stage which was wonderful to see. Crilly used every method to get closer to the crowd, even grasping audience member’s hands and heads to keep himself upright which no one seemed to mind. During the likes of ‘Bury Us in Black’, it is lucky the venue was already underground, for the force of percussion from Jim Baber coupled with movement from the crowd may well have seen them bust through the sturdiest of constructions.

Slowing proceedings down with ‘Bound and Broken’ and ‘Ghost in the Machine’ was a lovely change of pace, allowing Crilly a brief second to breathe and thank the fans for their constant loyalty. The intimacy of a venue like The Key Club allowed Ashestoangels to get close and personal with their audience. One can only imagine what kind of chaos they would have created in a larger venue, but it wouldn’t have been half as friendly or personal. It is creating a bond like this that has allowed them to gather such a devoted following, and you can only respect the lads more for this.

The use of synth dipping in and out during songs was an unusual but inspired addition to Ashestoangels’ live set. Watching the depth and dimension of this already talented band grow before your eyes was heart-warming. As recent single ‘Not in My Name’ bounced around the room, the crowd screamed the words back to Crilly, which is impressive seeing as ‘How to Bleed’ had only been released a week previously. Watching the fans respond to such an energetic band is uplifting. Particularly towards the newer tracks, they were warm and welcoming to whatever Ashestoangels threw at them.

Drawing the show to a close with their encore, Crilly invited an audience member on stage to sing, reinforcing the fact that the people in this room are more than just the Ashestoangels fan base. They are a family, a community gathering together to support and watch their friends do what they love. But even if it’s your first or fiftieth time seeing these boys, you never feel like an outsider. And while it would have been nice to hear more from the new album ‘How to Bleed’, there is no doubting that Ashestoangels put on an epic show.

This Ashestoangels article was written by Evie Myers, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson. Photo by donnaphonic

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