This was a gig I’d been looking forward to for a long time. Almost 4 years since Lostprophets released their last album and toured. I was hoping it would be worth the wait. I was surprised by the venue; it was small for such a popular band. It was similar to the Manchester Academy, but that’s not a bad thing as I’ve always enjoyed smaller gigs.
The first band that played was The Hexes, a black metal band. In all honesty I was a bit bored. I was stood near the lead guitarist, and he kept making mistakes. The singer kept talking to the audience during a song and when he did talk after the songs, you couldn’t tell a word he was saying. It was their last night of the tour anyway, apparently they got kicked off and they fell out with Lostprophets, which would explain their sarcastic comment about them being “lovely guys”.
Next up were Cardiff’s Kids In Glass Houses. Recently KIGH have been enjoying a measure of success, having already supported 30 Seconds To Mars, Hundred Reasons, Manic Street Preachers and The Goo Goo Dolls, and also playing alongside The Used and Funeral For A Friend on the Taste Of Chaos Tour in 2005. The band has a new album on the way in March. The first song they played was ‘Young Blood’, which is one of the new tracks. It was great to see the crowd getting involved straight away, as this doesn’t often happen with support acts. An interesting range of influences that I could hear. A definite pop sound, influenced by the likes of The Police, Prince, and The Beach Boys, that gets mixed up with more hardcore/punk styling, such as Glassjaw, Refused, and Funeral For A Friend.
After eagerly waiting for about 20 minutes, Lostprophets finally entered the stage, a moment that I and all the other fans had been waiting for. They powered through the first 2 songs effortlessly, the tracks were ‘If It Wasn’t For Hate We’d Be Dead By Now’, and ‘Its Not The End Of The World But I Can See It From Here’. The only disappointing factor though was that straight away I could tell the sound set-up wasn’t right, the vocals weren’t loud enough, and the bass guitar was too high, but the execution of the songs was flawless.
At this point, the crowd were ecstatic, anticipation was building as to what songs we were going to hear next. It was ‘Burn Burn’, which is a very powerful song, and got every single body in the room moving wildly, the atmosphere was phenomenal, everybody was animated!
A couple of tracks later and Lostprophets played their famous Prodigy cover of ‘Omen’. There was a certain element of surprise, but the track actually suited them really well, they played it as if it was their own song, with plenty of skill. The mix of old and new songs was gratifying. The sheer power of ‘Dstry/Dstryr’ and ‘Next Stop Atro City’, contrasted with the depth and clarity of ‘Can’t Catch Tomorrow’ was a display of how Lostprophets have progressed, and took on many great influences, and produced an excellent variety of songs. It was clear that the sound was going to be their weakness. You cannot fault the bands stage presence, their witty banter with the crowd; their delivery of the songs is perfect. They have this power, energy, aptitude and capability that you don’t always get at gigs. It was difficult to pick up Ian’s singing at times, especially in the intro’s and middle sections of the songs when the vocals are fairly soft. ‘Last Train Home’, ‘Where We Belong’ and ‘Rooftops’ were all strategically placed together. The most famous anthems sounded fantastic played back to back. ‘Last Train Home’ saw what was probably the biggest mosh pit of the night, which I avoided, as I was having too much of a good time watching and listening to the band! ‘Where We Belong’ enjoyed a similar response from the crowd, with not too many people realising that there is a sample in their, of U2’s ‘With Or Without You’. Next, the band shifted the focus back to their power and their brawn, by belting out ‘Kobrakai’, a classic from ‘The Fake Sound Of Progress’. I was surprised at how many people in the crowd didn’t know this track; people tend to forget just how good that album is. A better song could not be chosen to close the set, ‘Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja’ being shoved into our ears before the band left the stage. To be completely honest, I wasn’t happy with the Encore. It would have been better hearing a more anthemic track than ‘The Light That Shines Twice As Bright’, not that it isn’t a good song; it has richness to it, especially when played live. It just wasn’t that suitable for an encore. It took a few listens for me to get properly into ‘The Betrayed’, due to it being so different from the last album. After hearing the songs live though, now I can’t stop listening to it. The gig has reinforced my appreciation for the ideas and concepts behind the album.
Setlist: If It Wasn’t For Hate We’d Be Dead By Now, Its Not The End Of The World, But I Can See It From Here, Burn Burn,Darkest Blue, A Better Nothing, Omen, (Prodigy cover), Dstryr/Dstryr, A Thousand Apologies, Next Stop Atro City, Can’t Catch Tomorrow, Last Summer, For He’s A Jolly Good Felon, A Town Called Hypocrisy, Last Train Home, Where We Belong, Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast), Kobrakai, Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja, Encore: The Light That Shines Twice As Bright
Review & photos by Dan Clark