Where: Dingwalls, Camden
Eastbourne pop-rock band The Holiday are the first band to take the stage tonight. Having just released their debut EP The Good Life in the last two weeks, we can see the joy on their faces to play a gig with some material out there, released to the world. The upbeat tunes and crisp vocals get the audience going, even if the venue isn’t full (it is very early into the night, after all). But it’s lovely to see some audience participation when the set takes a slower pace, and lights on phones are shone onto the band- every band wants that right? The Holiday are a great pick-me-up for tonight and, after seeing their energy tonight, we have no doubt we’ll be seeing more from them in the future.
Up next are Manchester pop-punk band Milestones. Their debut EP Equal Measures was released at the beginning of April, and tonight we get to hear the full EP in full! Right at the start of the set we are met with a huge amount of energy, keeping the pace of the night flowing. Strong harmonies are held throughout this set, and raw emotion is belted out with these songs. We are given plenty of variety, ranging from upbeat guitar riffs nearing to a ballads; either way, we love it and so does the audience, which is slowly building up. It’s obvious they are just finding their feet with live gigs, and as a young band they definitely have more growing to do, but with more experience we are excited to see what Milestones can do next.
It’s getting later, so we take a spot to get ready for goth punk band Ashestoangels. With more gigs and experience under their belts than the previous bands, we are pretty excited to see them live. As soon as lead vocalist Adam Crilly takes the stand-free microphone and strides on to the stage, we are overwhelmed with hard guitar chords and the amount of energy is electric. We have lost count the amount of times Crilly is dragged off the stage by members of the crowed and carried around while screaming lyrics to songs such as ‘Six Six Six’ and ‘Horror Cult’. Ashestoangels are a band you just can’t take your eyes off of, but sometimes you don’t know where to look while being distracted by the frantic movements of the rest of the band members. But we can tell they absolutely love what they do, and know how to keep the crowd entertained. We could never be bored at an Ashestoangels gig!
It is finally time for the headliners, rock band Hawthorne Heights. The crowd is now packed in tight towards the stage with no visible room to move, raising the temperature- and the excitement!
This gig tonight has great significance, with it being the ten year anniversary tour for If Only You Were Lonely – and, as lead vocalist JT Woodruff states, it has been over two years since they have been in the UK. This just means true fans are filling this room with nostalgia and displaying great love for this band. We even see amps having to be put back into place on stage from the hectic crowd that can’t seem to get close enough to the band.
We are given a full set of the entire album tonight as we celebrate the anniversary, with everyone belting out every lyric to every song, and the vocalist emphasising how great it is to be in London. We are hit with occasional screams and gritty guitar riffs that compliment the general upbeat feel of the songs throughout. The band sure don’t look like they’re sick of playing these songs, which is great to see.
From their experience of playing hundreds of gigs over the years, it comes to no surprise to us that this is a well flowing, tight and rehearsed gig that they are just enjoying to play. Vocals are echoing the room over the lively melodies and we just can’t get enough. As we get closer to the end of the set, the stage dives are pretty frequent from the crowd who are just loving every moment and are experiencing their younger days.
As the set is drawn to a close, all we are left with is a promise that Hawthorne Heights will return to London sooner rather than later. We sure hope they make that happen.