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REVIEW: Finch – KOKO, London (02/06/15)

So the time had come and after missing Finch play live several times over the years, I finally got a chance to see them and spend some time with the band also.

My day as a whole was an interesting trail of events, from being a temporary roadie for The Darkness to doing my work for Rebellious Noise as we interviewed one of my most beloved bands. My day started with some out of the ordinary situations as whilst helping out The Darkness get their gear into hmv’s flagship store for a signing I was wedged in the elevator with some of their gear and I had to jump over none other than Justin Hawkins’ amp which to be honest felt pretty awesome, in a strange sort of way. Literally minutes after that experience I got confirmation that I was able to go to see Finch to review the show and help interview them for Rebellious Noise. This was also the first opportunity that we got to film an interview with a band as well as a “Queue & A” with their devoted fans in the same day, So we wasn’t going to let that chance get past us and got a couple questions which the band themselves were curious to get answers from their fan base. (Check back soon for the interview with the band and the Queue & A episode)

During the Queue & A we met some really great people and also a couple of crazy ones, everyone we actually had a chat with were a real pleasure to talk to and were a good laugh but then there were a few …for lack of a better word “Crack Heads” on the scene looking to steal our gear or worst our BEERS! We had to shoo them away like pigeons, but some were not intimidated and this one in particular which I will name “Secret Steve” was on a whole other level, he walked over to us with about 5 shopping bags and had obviously “had quite a few” and started preaching about how we should interview him instead. Because Secret Steve was actually going to beat the world record for loudest drum hit ever, comparing the current world record to a jet engine. Oh, but it is a “massive secret” and he isn’t allowed to tell anyone… well done Steve. So we explained to him that we were busy filming for the Finch gig and he just went straight up to KOKO and got a ticket for the show! I am guessing that he left his shopping in the cloak room and probably went in to secretly compare his drumming to Finch live.

f2Once I got into the venue there was a great atmosphere building up. KOKO is a very nice venue with multiple floors and a great view from almost anywhere (toilet not included). After doing the interview and the Queue & A, I actually missed the support bands which was a shame, but at least I didn’t miss the main attraction. I was already tipsy at this point after downing beers before the questionable characters besides our camera crew got to them, so I was having an awesome time waiting in anticipation whilst talking to a few fans.

Then the time had come, I love that feeling when the background music is turned down and everyone starts cheering. Grizzly grabs his guitar and you hear that first riff of the night and straight away I get up close so that the amps are only about 2 feet from my face. The band started with ‘New Beginnings‘ from their debut album which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Following the intro of ‘New Beginnings‘ was a striking couple of tunes, the Californian rockers went into  ‘Grey Matter‘, ‘Insomniac Meat‘ and ‘Anywhere But Here‘ which was the band playing a song from each of their albums in release order, which really set the tone of the night as the band played through a strong back catalogue.

I really enjoyed how most of the songs just went straight into the next one without hesitation, which meant that the crowd rarely got a moment to compose themselves and get out of the

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moment. One of my most favourite slow songs ever happens to be a Finch classic, ‘Without You Here‘ which really was a nice surprise to hear live, so naturally I sang my heart out to the best of my ability trying to keep up with the outstanding vocals of singer Nate Barcalow.

The band provided quite a meaty set list with an admiral performance of 16 songs. Although, I would have loved to have heard themplay ‘Murder Me‘ from their latest album ‘Back to Oblivion’ because it’s currently on repeat on my phone and is just one of those songs you can’t quit. Most fans go to a gig for a “Greatest Hits” type set list, but I was in this for the new stuff too, so I’m glad that they still played a good amount of songs from the latest album. Songs like ‘Play Dead‘ and ‘Us vs. Them‘ went down really well with the London crowd.

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The song that I consider not just the bands biggest success but a cult classic, as we mentioned to the interview with them earlier in the evening, due to what it does to the crowds in the rock nightclub scene here in London ‘Letters To You‘ started playing and the place just went nuts. People were jumping over each other and everyone was getting really into the song screaming out the lyrics, which took up so much of the crowds energy after an already hype inducing set list. Which meant that after that I needed just a little break and grabbed a pint from the bar. The pace didn’t slow down there though as the guys played ‘Ink‘ before their first “Ending” of the night playing in the awesome ‘Ender‘.

The band exited the stage, but of course we were given an encore which included a much anticipated song of the night ‘What It Is To Burn‘ which was nailed and executed perfectly. Let’s just say that I was a very satisfied human being at this point. It really was a great night and I highly recommend seeing Finch, even if you only know of ‘Letters To You‘. So that was the end of my eventful day and I would happily relive it the next time Finch come to town, Thanks for reading.The place came to a state of tranquility for a moment, with people calming down yet still singing as much as their lungs would let them.

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