Where: Electric Ballroom, London
Walking into the Electric Ballroom tonight, the quirky, bustling market space is transformed into a glorious gothic graveyard as neon crucifixes and a luminous haunted manor greet us with an air of both eeriness and excitement, like some kind of lavish phantom ball. We feel like we’ve been swept out of Camden and into some sort of netherworld, full of playful miscreants and misfits and a complete outbreak from the societal constraints of ‘normal’.
Creeper have always been shrouded in an aura of anticipation, something that since the release of their debut album Eternity, in Your Arms has only burned brighter. Going hand in hand with that, however, is a great deal of expectation and pressure, so this night, their biggest London headliner to date, is make or break. They can prove themselves worthy of the elaborate attention that has been thrust upon them for the past year, or it could all crumble if they don’t live up to the hype. Fortunately, they chose the former.
In between tracks, they show humility and gratitude for this huge sell-out show; but those are the only times the band mellow and chit-chat, moments that are weaved carefully throughout the theatrical, impassioned, aggressive fabric of their set. From the messy, chaotic punk of early tracks ‘We Had a Pact’ and ‘Lie Awake’ and the rumbling catchiness of singles ‘Black Mass’ and ‘Suzanne’ right through to new album tracks, the powerful ‘Down Below’ and enchanting ‘Crickets’- performed by keyboardist Hannah Greenwood, who has blossomed during the band’s career- the energy never dips and the mood never lulls. It’s a ruckus, a fun, captivating whirlwind from start to finish.
Signing off with a finale of the riotous ‘VCR’ and the ballad of gorgeous, haunting perfection that is ‘Misery’, Creeper are done. Well, just for tonight; in reality, they are far, far from done. This is the tip of the iceberg, the mere beginnings for a band with such spark, such creativity, such potential. One day we can see frontman Will Gould’s statement leather jacket with its callous heart patch framed behind glass in a Hard Rock Cafe, sandwiched between some of the most iconic merchandise in music history, and we will be the ones lucky enough to say, “Yes, we were there. And it was beautiful.”