As I sit here and type these words, I still find myself in a jaded state of exhaustion. This is because I only returned from London the previous day, after a long night of partying at Slimelight, the
well-renowned alternative dark-scene club night at the legendary Electrowerkz. I mean literally partied all night, having caught the first train home the next morning. I really can’t go hard like I used to! However, I wasn’t just there for another night of clubbing, for there were other interesting festivities occurring. I yet again found myself down south for another instalment of the Beat:Cancer tour, this time it’s Winter leg.
Beat:Cancer is no stranger to this venue, it’s held shows here for many years now. With each chapter it continues to grow larger and more impressive, gaining a large following along the way, all in the name of kicking cancer’s arse. A good cause, whilst having fun doing so, the best way to do it. On this night, it was no less amazing.
Things kicked off to a great start with Paresis. Their excellent combination of aggrotech, blended with metal was brutally hard-hitting, and made for a lively atmosphere. As they blasted through their set, they quickly got the audience moving, playing a small selection from across their discography, ending with a cover of Nero’s “Satisfy.” Next up were DeathBoy, and from what I was aware, it was a pretty special occasion, as live performances from them are much rarer these days. Needless to say, I could understand what the fuss was about, as they were pretty damn good! At some point they were described as a ‘gritty, sleazy sounding Placebo’, and I’d call that description spot-on (in the best possible way.) Additionally, they were joined on-stage by Mikey Antonio of AlterRed on guitar, who put on some theatrics and became the role hype-man for the band. It certainly helped make it memorable, that’s for sure. It was then time to blast off into space with the arrival of Vieon. Their glorious synthwave sounds echoed through the venue, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere. They showed fantastic showmanship throughout their set, with frontman Matt Wild walking out into the crowd on a couple of occasions as he flawlessly delivered amazing melodies on his keytar. This was all backed by some spectacular visuals, that resonated perfectly with the music, and was of the quality of top tier mainstream artists. For the penultimate act of the night, all the way from Australia, were Sirus. As they’d not graced our shores since Resistanz Fesitval 2015 (besides the other winter Beat:Cancer tour dates), and with their new album Apocrypha on the horizon, anticipation was high. I can safely say that the wait was entirely worth it, they put on an absolutely storming show! Usually the use of live drums can lead to complications within this genre of music, but this was not the case here. The sound was top-notch, the beats pounded, and Josh Rombout’s vocals were as visceral as ever, whilst Keeva unleashed some stunning harmonies. The fact the entire ensemble was here was actually a UK first, which was fantastic to see. Opening with “Our Cities Are Burning”, they roared through tracks old and new, ending on the mighty “Full Scale Revolt”. With the latter, they also managed to sneak in a bit of “Get Schwifty” from Rick and Morty, to hilarious effect (can we have a remix, please?) It was intense brilliance from beginning to end. For another rarity, the last to take the stage were Xenturion Prime, this show being their first at Electrowerkz for 10 years. The atmosphere throughout their set was electrifying. The uplifting tones of the duo’s music created an extremely vibrant atmosphere, and the crowd sang along to their emotionally charged lyrics in unison. We were even treated to some Code64 goodness part way through. I honestly don’t think there was a single person not moving during their time on stage, and rightfully so to. It was addictively danceable, and an excellent high to end the festivities on.
I honestly don’t know how Mark Haigh and his crew pull off such spectacular events, or manage such epic lineups. I have nothing but respect for them, and their goal of helping to eliminate cancer from this Earth. I’ve got to say that this event in particular had probably one of the strongest selection of bands ever. Not only because of the quality of the acts, but also because of the diversity shown. There was not one single band that were of the exact same sound, and each were unique in their own way. Plus they all put on a strong showing, there was not a single dull moment, and I couldn’t fault any of it.
It’s already been confirmed that Beat:Cancer will once again return to Electrowerkz on 9th November 2019 for the second volume of it’s Beat:Cancer Festival. I know I’ll definitely be going, and I hope to see you there!