​FOXBLOOD (Never Rome Single Launch) w/ Windwaker, Red Lotus & Spectral Fires @ The Workers Club, March 2018

After finishing my gym session at The Yard Strength & Fitness, I made a bee-line for a city-bound train departing from Pakenham station. I decided to go there as it was literally a few minutes drive from the gym. Unfortunately, I’ve never actually caught the train this far out before so I was practically winging it. Frustratingly, the carpark was on the opposite side of the platform so I had to walk the long way around to get there but luckily just made my train on time. I knew that I was burning the candle at both ends by trying to fit everything in but I was determined to get to this gig.

The thing about local gigs for me is being able to let go of all expectations and stop worrying about shit I can’t control. Why isn’t he talking to me? Why are they ignoring me? What are they thinking about me? These are the questions that often rattle through my brain especially when the anxiety kicks in. But not tonight. I made the effort to be here and I’m going to enjoy myself no matter what happens.

Arriving just after 9pm, I managed to catch the start of Red Lotus’ set as I walked into The Workers Club band room. I was feeling a lot more optimistic about tonight compared to the last time I was at this venue. More than anything, it just so how resilient I’ve become to my fears and anxieties. So I made the decision to step out of the shadows, put myself out there and break the ice with people. It’s a nice feeling when people are genuinely happy to see you and I was getting a lot of those vibes tonight.

SPECTRAL FIRES                                                                                                  I bid farewell to my pain, it bitters and strains. Strung up with a long, tight hold. Never doing as it’s told. What do you see when you’re looking at me? A heart-breaker? Wave chaser Underneath just another face-saver. So let the truth be told, my friends.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to the venue early enough to catch this melodic hardcore/punk rock play but be sure to check out their EP “Wayfarer” here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wayfarer-ep/1299128004

RED LOTUS                                                                                                            I’ve always been scared of imperfection. Held my breath with the fear of rejection. I built myself upon corrupted foundations. Misguided notions of self-preservation. Illuminate the fears I’m too afraid to call my own. Illuminate, replace this hate. Take me back home.

This is the second time I’ve seen this four-piece Indie-rock/Metal band play, the previous time being at the Whole Lotta Love bar in East Brunswick. The band had a solid stage presence and put on a great performance with a fierce vocal delivery from Stephanie Briffa. Steph actually gave me a beautiful necklace with a wooden tag featuring a lotus flower design. I really appreciated it a lot. https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/illuminate/id1264901265

Set List: Illuminate, The Furthest Shore, Me Myself and I.

WINDWAKER                                                                                                          The world feels out of place now. We’re holding on for one last breath. The world is at it’s end now and I have nothing left to hide. This place erases me, this place erases me, I’m falling away.

It honestly feels like I lifetime since I last saw this Experimental Melodic Hardcore/Indie-Rock band play but now they are officially a five piece with Liam Guinane and Jesse Crofts recently becoming permanent members. Their performance tonight was really incredible with loads of energy and a few funny moments. Vocalist Will King was trying so hard to get the crowd to participate, getting everyone to split down the middle and then *crickets* nobody moved. But they got a better response towards the end of their set with a few people jumping around and singing along. I’m so glad that Jesse ended up rocking his yoda backpack on stage again. So hilarious! https://windwakerofficial.bandcamp.com/album/fade-ep

Set List: Castaway, Your Own War, Take Me With You, Awake, Backhander, The Destroyer.

FOXBLOOD                                                                                                            I’m sorry that I couldn’t make the pieces fit.  I’m so far adrift, In an ocean you don’t even know exists. This is more than a rainy day, this is a hurricane. We are one. Empires pulled apart by stones. We are one. But we were never Rome.

With the departure of vocalist Chris Millward and bass guitarist Steven Powell, there was certainly a lot for me and fellow Foxblood fans to process. I personally had mixed feelings about the decision as I was content with the lineup and didn’t want things to change. Even more unexpected was having guitarist Tom Beale become lead vocalist and Anthony Syle becoming a cleans vocalist and bassist. I had so many questions. How is Tom going to be as a frontman on stage at live gigs? How are they going to handle all of Chris’ vocal parts from their older material? Will I be able to accept and adapt to this new lineup?

I was nearly ready to pull the plug on them until I heard their new single “Never Rome” with Tom and Anthony’s vocals recorded on it and I had a change of heart. I was prepared to give this new lineup a shot. Their performance tonight genuinely surprised me in a good way. Tom came across as a confident vocalist and frontman on stage. He connected really well with the crowd despite being naturally nervous. The way they’ve chosen to divide the cleans, screams and backing vocals up between them really works well.

It’s really clear that the band have done a lot of hard work with band rehearsals behind the scenes to prepare themselves as the new Foxblood. It could have been a disaster but thankfully they’ve pull all their strengths together and made it all work.  https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/the-devil-the-dark-the-rain/1144771805

Set List: Set Me Alight, Brittle Bones, No Heroes, Bittersweet, Ghost Town Medicine, Never Rome.

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