Have Heart - The Phoenix, Manchester (07/12/2008)

Clare Halls | Monday, 08 December 2008

Have Heart - The Phoenix, Manchester (07/12/2008)

The Manchester hardcore scene is evidently alive and fully aflame. The Phoenix provided the perfect venue for one of the most thrilling shows Oxford Road has seen in a long time. Completely immersed in the music, in a decent turnout not one person was left feeling still defeated by the end of the night.

Carpathian riffed and rocked through their brand of Aussie hardcore punk like pros. Persistent touring has ensured that they can go anywhere and make a lasting impression – largely due to the fact that vocalist Martin Kirby engages and stays on the floor with the crowd for the majority of the set.

The vicious beat downs and aggressive vocals that shaped Cruel Hand’s set proved a winner with the crowd as they got more involved. At this point fists were starting to fly and t-shirts were coming off and although executed with strength and energy these bands were simply building up the anticipation for the unrivalled main band.

While bands often associated with the same scene notoriously tackle serious subject matters for songs, Have Heart make fun of it and clearly have been along with the other bands during this tour. An onstage water fight between them not only steered the audience into overdrive but also raised the atmospheric bar that bit higher. This was no longer just a gig; it was a convergence of people and music.

With no restrictions, people treated the front of the stage as an adult assault course as Patrick Flynn roared through 'Lionheart'. The passion behind the positive ethos of this band was fully employed by the audience and confirmed that that this really is what they live for. Bridge Nine Records should be incredibly proud.

How the place failed to fall to pieces during the headliners was staggering. Playing nothing less than a passionate showcase of belief and love, the succession of people swinging from the pipes in the ceiling only added to the heated intensity. Boston hardcore made a truly unforgettable impact tonight.

Rating: 4.5/5