Cardiff’s newest live music venue was the destination for the Welsh leg of Andy Black‘s Homecoming Tour and quite shockingly, the sun was out! Andy released debut solo album The Shadow Side on the 6th May, a very different direction from his Black Veil Brides day job but a great release! Check out what we thought of it here. Support for the tour comes in the form of Southampton goth punks Creeper.
Creeper take to the stage for an extended set, opening with standout track VCR, ensuring that from the off, everyone is off their feet and singing along. The Honeymoon Suite sees the now customary circle pit open up. Misery and closing track Henley’s Ghost both see phones and lighters in the air, while latest single Astral Projection went down extremely well. Vocally sound throughout and all worked both the stage and the crowd well, showing how everytime they play, they get so much better and tighter as a unit with consistently incredible sets proving they are more than worthy of the several award nominations they have received this year!
It’s time for Andy Black to make his entrance. As a Black Veil Brides fan, it was odd to see him take to the stage with just a drummer and a guitarist, leaving the stage quite bare, not that that was a problem for the charismatic frontman, who made full use of the space throughout the set. Launching straight into Stay Alive and engaging a mass sing-a-long from the start. A beautiful and heartfelt rendition of Beautiful Pain followed a small speech about close friend Chris Holley who sadly passed away eleven months ago, with Andy thanking the crowd for singing along with him and admitted that he sometimes struggles with performing that track. There’s a special mention for opening act Creeper with Andy calling them his ‘favourite UK band right now’ and album tracks Louder Than Your Love, Put The Gun Down, Ribcage and Paint It Black receive a rousing reception. Not content with just playing his album, however, as there are incredible covers of Andy’s ‘all time favourite band’ Alkaline Trio‘s Time To Waste and Billy Idol‘s Dancing With Myself, both of which sound perfect with Andy’s raspy vocals. The biggest sing-a-long of the night had to come with a rendition of most of Black Veil Brides‘ fan favourite Saviour. We are taken back to the very beginning of Andy Black with 2014’s They Don’t Need To Understand before an encore of The Shadow Side‘s lead single We Don’t Have To Dance.
Overall it is an incredible show that sees a completely different side to Andy. Aside from the size of the stage, the simplistic backing band and crowd interaction from the frontman make the show a lot more intimate. At times, there are sections of songs where Andy lets the crowd take over and also some in-depth explanations of the meaning behind the tracks. There’s talk about the last time he was in Cardiff on the Kerrang tour (with the crowd very helpfully pointing out that it was in fact 2014’s Black Mass tour opening show). Throughout the set, Andy’s vocals are on point, effortlessly changing between keys.