So may only previous experiences of the XOYO venue in the heart of London’s trendy Shoreditch area, had been rather relax atmospheres. So when I heard that it would be housing one of the craziest hardcore punk bands I’ve ever seen, I just had to see this for myself.
Starting the night off were 4 piece powerviolence act Stab. Definitely a good choice of opening act as the burst on the stage at full speed. With a pocket rocket of a front man running around the stage like a lunatic screaming down the microphone. Despite the great start the bands set seemed to all merge into one, as each song in turn appeared to sound identical to the last. The one saving grace that stab did have was the insane ability of their drummer. Even though the bands set was only about 15 minutes long, watching the speed of the drummer play was mind blowing. If you haven’t heard stab they are definitely worth checking out.
Following this short but sweet set was Brighton’s Sauna Youth. To me and many others in the crowd they were an unknown quantity. I’m sure many were also hoping that after their set it stayed that way. You can understand why they were chosen as support (what with the new direction Ceremony have gone down), with their brand of electro punk, I guess it’s a very acquired taste. With a similar sound to the bands like The Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s and the Distillers, but there was just something lacking. Maybe it was the ‘hipster’ mentality the band seemed to have, but they just generally just seemed to miss some pop. They had about a handful of admirers in the crowd, everyone else just looked a little bored.
What was about to happen I don’t think XOYO has, or ever will, see anything like the carnage that happened. From the opening riff of ‘Hysteria’ the whole room opened up, with no sign of letting up until the band left the stage. Of course Ceremony are going to cause chaos, it’s what they do best. By the second song the stage dives were in full flow, one mic lead had been broken. The whole room ended up witnessing all hell break loose, as the security barrier was ripped away and it now became a free for all. Apart from the chaos Ceremony powered through their set in blistering pace, plays songs from new album ‘Zoo’ as well as classics like ‘Sick’ and ‘Pressure’s On’. Despite the band / crowd managing to break at least three microphone leads, you could not fault the energy, passion and showmanship of Ceremony. Things came to a bit of an abrupt end as the band closed with the always favourite ‘Kersed’. The crowd rushed the stage to try grab the mic, which in turn ended up with a wave of people falling into all of Ceremony’s equipment. As soon as this happened that was the end of the night. It was quite fitting that a night of such carnage should end in chaos as it did.