It’s a very sunny day in Cardiff for the arrival of California New Grave (or ‘hauntedmansioncore’ as frontwoman Ash Costello describes the band’s genre) frontrunners New Years Day.
Opening the show is Bristol rockers Syren City. It’s been over a year since I last saw the quintet, who have since had some line-up alterations but they are on fine form! An energetic live set with tight vocals and crunching guitars as they play through some old tracks and some from forthcoming EP Paradise In The Dirt (out June 24) including track ‘Danielle’.
There has been a rise in copycat female-fronted bands recently, but as tonight’s main support Eva Plays Dead shows, there are some really talented and individual ones still out there! The rock quintet were on fire throughout and frontwoman Tiggy Dee has a great voice, slightly reminiscent of the late Amy Winehouse! Opening with ‘Wonderland’ sees intricate guitars, the crowd tale very well to the band, getting involved as the band play through tracks including ‘Spin’ and ‘Bones’ and the set sadly having to come to a close, although closing with incredible new track Live Again left the crowd wanting more.
Finally New Years Day appear to the intro of opening track Kill or be Killed, jumping straight into an energetic and spellbinding set. Ash’s stage presence and crowd interaction is top class, always getting the energetic crowd off their feet as the band play through tracks old and new including old favourites Epidemic, Other Side and Angel Eyes as well as new favourites Scream and Malevolence. Guitarist Nikki Misery is as lively as ever with both he and fellow guitarist Jeremy Valentyne providing riffs and breakdowns galore over pounding basslines and intense drum beats. Vocally, both Ash and Jeremy were note perfect, showing little to no signs of strain considering this is around the forty-ffth show in a row the band have played. There’s a moment when Ash thanks the crowd for coming and says how surreal it is to be so far away from home and have people singing along to every song.
Overall a very good night with three top class bands and hopefully this will not be the first and last night we have the New Grave kings and queen back in the land of the dragons.