LIVE: The One Hundred / MassMatiks

Where: Rock City Basement, Nottingham
When: 06/05/2017
Rating: 3/5

The One Hundred have been to Nottingham previously supporting Papa Roach, but tonight sees their first headline tour. It’s early times for both the support and the main feature due to the club night itself, but that just serves to draw a bigger ambient crowd of chancers.

First up are MassMatiks who come on with the enthusiasm and confidence of a band playing to an audience larger than the three rows that have self-imposedly sardined themselves against the barrier and credit to them as they keep it up for the entire set with gusto. The singer bounds on dressed in an off-white hoodie and darker combats, hair pristine with a short back and sides making him the cleanest bad boy I’ve seen since before they switched Ben in EastEnders. Their bio claims they highlight social injustice, although I’m more impressed with their opening hook of “I drank too much on pre-drinks, now I’ll be fucked all evening” and a later track about 4am beer lairiness and club fights. The set develops well with vocals not dissimilar to The Streets, evolving into softer crooning akin to Mr Hudson & The Library. The rest of the band performs with precision and it’s good to see their commitment to the backing vocals. These lads have something to sell and long may it continue.

Intro music starts and The One Hundred breeze onstage ready to hit hard, but sadly the mix is uneven to begin and hindered by kick mic issues serving up a hornet buzz instead of a sub-heavy punch. It’s clear there are other issues, but the band is tight and professional, and stick to their game plan.

Neck outstretched, there’s a hint of Dani Filth in the screeching vocal and it’s a relief to see Field drop his head for the rapping and singing. Two songs in and the crowd are getting there. The riffery and rhythm section have been indirectly influenced by OMS and Hed(p.e.).

The guitar is bright, the bass has punch, and the band are tight but it feels formulaic from the side-lines like a well-oiled set routine instead of an enthusiastic and engaging performance feeding off of room energy. There is early berating of the audience which grates, but the banter develops well throughout and the band relax into confidence. Anger and vitriol is unleashed vocally, but with eyes smiling, sentiments are betrayed.

With a new album out soon, it’s interesting to hear the new material. The Subculture EP had a lot in common with Hacktivist and Hadouken, but the new songs are clearly moving away from that angle and are backing track heavy with keyboards and backing vocals. ‘Disengage’ has a dirty top end buzz synth over it which pierces the air like a razor.

A meaty hip-hop loop that does justice to the bottom end arrives, and the kick drum is finally on point, punching the audience’s knees and shins. Field is stood, arms outstretched like Christ the Redeemer in Rio, nodding along to the bouncing crowd enraptured in the cacophony of The One Hundred, which develops into some choice surreptitious gyrations that could make a good income in another line of work.

‘Boot Town’ and ‘Black Jack’ sees Tim’s guitar work and backing vocals respectably represented, and Phil on bass is nodding along like a self-assured Churchill dog that majored in groove instead of insurance, knowing it was the better choice.

Two classics appear in ‘Downfall’ and ‘Dark Matters’, the second of which has a squelchy groove with Balinese chimes. The mosh pit is now rife with swinging bears.

The end of the set sees beggery for an encore which, by design, is pitifully led by the lead singer. It’s laughable, but the stage banter is now entrenched in the comedic and it goes down well.

Everything is wrapped up with a solid performance of ‘Kingsman’ with the audience going ballistic. A well-executed stage dive sees Field held aloft and singing flawlessly whilst yellow strobe assaults the crowd. All in all a solid performance.

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