It’s been a hell of a year for Creeper. The release of their debut album was followed by the band’s biggest UK tour so far with many of the dates sold out including the ones we attended in London. You can read our review of that show back in March here.
It’s almost unbelievable that only a few years ago, the very same band were playing the tiny 150 capacity London venue, The Old Blue Last. Yet, here we are only 3 years later & an absolutely packed O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire is about to host Creeper.
Their rise has been phenomenal & not undeserved.
We arrived at the very busy venue to catch the final support band of the evening (three in total). Can’t Swim are a pop-punk/hardcore rock band that light up the crowd with their bouncy, upbeat tunes. There is a lot of energy on the stage but a few too many slow songs in a 30-minute set drag it down.
Frustratingly, Creeper make the rabid crowd wait for about 40 minutes before hitting the stage. It’s an unnecessary amount of time considering there isn’t much in the way of a stage show going on. In fact, the stage is clear by 2125 but the lights don’t dim until 2140.
However, once the lights do drop, the crowd loses their mind. Calling this tour ‘The Theatre of Fear’, the presence of a man reciting a poem regarding the case of James Scythe (of which Creeper based their album on) is an interesting start.
He finishes & the stage lights go out followed by the band making their way onto stage in darkness. The roar of the crowd is chilling, it’s shocking that this is a band who only started playing live over three years ago.
Kicking straight into Black Rain, the Empire explodes into a flurry of dancing, head-banging & sing-alongs. Creeper have come a long way since we last saw them, bouncing around on stage with the kind of confidence that you expect from a band 20 years into their career. It’s hard to tear your eyes away from frontman Will Gould as he struts, preens & poses.
The likes of Suzanne, Poison Pens & Valentine keep the energy up but it’s an absolute huge sounding Down Below that serves as a reminder of just how many good pop-rock/punk-rock songs Creeper.
Is it faultless though? Unfortunately, not. Crickets, a favourite amongst the fanbase doesn’t do much for me & it sucks the energy out of the room. Following that it is something of a surprise to get a piano/vocal only start to Hiding with Boys. It’s different & sounds fantastic, especially as it quickly flips over into the fast & catchy record version.
Creeper end their (non-encore) set with an obvious track, one that they’ve been using since the release of the album. I Choose to Live is a final sing-along that has strangers arm in arm singing “I choose to live” as loud as they possibly can.
The cult lives on, it’s getting bigger & it’s probably time you got on-board as this show was arguably the best Creeper show to date.
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Creeper @ O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (07/12/17)