By DJ Astrocreep
A jaunt across to a perennial favourite venue in Satan’s Hollow sees me catch Written By Wolves in one of their first ever ÜK dates, with able support from Bristol’s Immerse. Early doors mean an earlier trip across, due to the regular club night in the venue afterwards, so it’s not entirely unexpected that not too many are at the venue ahead of doors.
Immerse take to the stage to a backing track and numbers are pretty sparse, looking probably worse for the fact that people seem to want to spread out around the club, rather than congregate in front of the bands. The vocalist is straight on to the stragglers though, beckoning everyone on in to fill up the gaps at the front.
Their music is a mix between electronica rock and an almost hardcore approach, with the styles actually blending very well. Heads start nodding as they work through their 30-minute set, taking advantage of almost every second they have on stage, barely wasting any. It’s a really well played, energetic set that goes down well with the growing numbers and they hard earned deserve the applause they get at the end of it.
There’s an edge to their live sound as Written By Wolves take to the stage, which makes them sound absolute massive – far bigger than you’d expect in a venue of this size. They come across beyond cinematic rock, having a heavier element to their sound which enables them to outstrip a single label. There has clearly been a lot of effort put into the production and planning side of the tour, as the use of the light bars behind and the dedicated sound and lighting engineer specifically for their set shows quite easily.
In terms of their actual sound, everything is superb. Each member exquisitely plays their part and, bar one bit of feedback during a cover, there is a qell worked vocal harmony that adds, at times, an almost dreamy layer above the softer end of their music. The drumming veers between soft and almost melodic through to a much more aggressive, tribal feel – one that might sound as appropriate performed for the Haka that the Maori of their country may perform. Add in some excellent synth, guitars and backing track and it blends into quite the layered sonic landscape.
Mixing in new songs like ‘Goddess’ to what are clearly more established fan favourites, including an excellent cover of Linkin Park’s ‘Papercut’, I don’t recall a single song where there aren’t at least a few people who know the lyrics. It feels clear that they should playing on bigger stages to bigger crowds and it should only be a matter of time before they are doing so.
It’s one of those nights where you try a band that is pretty new to you to find yourself one you want to do a deep dive on at the earliest possible moment.
A great show and a hell of a way to end their first visit here.
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