The Australian blackened rock and roller Pagan kicked off their EU / UK Black Wash Tour at the Old Blue Last in London.
Formed in 2013, the quartet comprising vocalist Nikki Brumen, guitarist Xavier Santilli, bassist Dan Bonnici and drummer Matt Marasco released their first self-titled EP ‘Pagan’ in 2015 followed by a few singles that are part of their book of spells, as well as they released their ‘Death Before Disco’ EP (2018, EVP Recordings) and their debut album Black Wash (2018, Hassle Records / EVP Recordings). Musically, the band mixes underground hardcore punk with black metal. Especially Nikki’s screamed vocals supported by the heavy guitars and the dark atmosphere make the band unique.
The doors to the Old Blue Last, an atmospheric 120-capacity pub, opened around 7.30 to a mixed but rather slightly older crowd of young adults. First up was the British post-hardcore band Phoxjaw. The quintet from Bristol comprises vocalist Danny Garland, both guitarists Josh Gallop and Glenn Hawkins, as well as drummer Kieran Gallop and Huw Allen on the keys, who create a fresh grungy and melancholic sound mixing heavy vocals and dark sounding guitars.
Even though the venue was quite empty at the beginning, Phoxjaw created a lot of energy and set up the right vibes for the rest of the night. Their vivid performance on stage animated the audience to move and sing along getting excited for Pagan who were up next. With Pagan entering the stage to hold their ritual, as they call their shows, the crowd went crazy. Everyone was chanting or screaming along and jumping around. Nikki herself joined the crowd towards the end of the set which was highly appreciated by the crowd. With each song the energy level seemed to increase.
The light show and acoustic of the venue was very basic but suited both performances well. As the sets and the music was quite dark and heavy, the simple light show helped to create the right atmosphere and vibe to support the music.
Overall, it was a nice evening with a great live show and good music. Both, the bands and the fans seemed to have an amazing time on as well as off stage. The fans highly appreciated the energy and motivation of the bands which resulted in them joining the performance and singing along. It was a special time and an energetic start of Pagan’s EU / UK tour.
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