Feed the Rhino – Exchange, Bristol, 20/09/2016

Sometimes it can’t be helped – bands just have an off day. If someone tells you they’ve never played a bad show in their life then they’re lying on a level akin to politicians. At times the performance is sloppy and disjointed, at others it boils down to outside influences like a muted audience and sound problems. Occasionally however, it’s all of the above, and this is what befalls local lads Koshiro (5) tonight. They will have played far better shows than this in their career and yours truly has seen such an event, but tonight everything conspires against them and even anthems like King of Snakes fail to get off the ground. It’s certainly a frustrating half hour. By contrast, it would take a hurricane to take Counting Days (8) off course, who go from strength to strength with every show and are one of the most exciting UK bands around at the moment. Ex-Bring Me the Horizon guitarist Curtis Ward has settled very nicely into their ranks and gives them an extra dose of energy and groove, but the star is frontman Thom Debaere, who looks like he’s about to burst a vein with all the venom he injects into his vocals tonight. Songs like Die Alone and Sands of Time are sounding angrier and angrier with each performance, and if this continues onto the next album we could be looking at a very special outfit indeed.

Whilst Counting Days are keeping their momentum going, tonight’s headliners are looking to pick it back up again; this is Feed the Rhino‘s (8) first live show for over a year, but any notion of rust around the edges is barely noticeable given that it takes frontman Lee Tobin all of two-and-a-half minutes into opening number The Butchers to throw himself into the audience, who by now are starting pits at every opportunity and getting more and more rabid by the second. For a Tuesday night as well it’s a cracking turnout; the place is a near sell-out. Pat yourself on the back Bristol, you did well. Following song Caller of the Town involves fans singing most of the first verse, third song Featherweight (introduced as ‘the last single we will EVER release’) sees everyone bouncing and by the time we get to Deny and Offend bodies are flying left, right and centre. It’s clear to see that Feed the Rhino have been missed, and also how many belting songs they actually have – the groove in Give Up will make anybody bang their head whilst Tides sees a monumental sing-a-long the like the Exchange hasn’t seen in a LONG time. Oh, and just to put a very large cherry on the top of the cake, New Wave  rounds everything off with another dose of intense, hardcore brilliance and Feed the Rhino make their long-awaited stamp back on the UK music scene. Welcome back boys.

Feed the Rhino setlist

The Butchers
Caller of the Town
Left For Ruins
Behind The Pride
Deny and Offend
The Burning Sons
Give Up
Finish the Game
New Wave

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About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.