Heaven’s Basement at The Electric Ballroom, London (Gig Review)

Review of Heaven’s Basement Gig at The Electric Ballroom: 9/10

I saw Heaven’s Basement for the first time in Download 2013 where they put on a very energetic and somewhat flamboyant acoustic set that I reviewed waaaay back. This time however we got to see the proper hard rock show and, as awesome as the acoustic set was, this is definitely the way to see them!

 

Heavens Basement Gig

Heavens Basement Gig

The boys only have the one album Filthy Empire plus a previous EP that I must admit I’m not familiar with so you can imagine it wasn’t going to be a long set. We got off to a great start with my absolute favourite Heaven’s Basement track Welcome Home which shot by in a flash. Sound quality was decent, a bit distorted at the beginning but it improved greatly as the show went on. I’ve only seen one band at the Electric Ballroom prior to this which was symphonic metal sextet Epica, I will admit they topped Heaven’s Basement in the sonic clarity department but it was pretty close. Heartbreaking Son of a Bitch and Straight to Hell translated into the live show very well and both were definite highlights of my evening. A couple of songs that pre-dated the Filthy Empire album also made it onto the set. Paranoia was particularly memorable if only for the fact that guitarist Sid Glover took over on lead vocals and not a bad effort I might add. Then there was the fast and decidedly more furious Reign on my Parade which I definitely want to listen to again if I can get my hands on a studio copy.

Aaron Buchanan has all the makings of a terrific frontman, he has great control of a crowd and a somewhat manic demeanour on stage. He’s engaging, great fun to watch and the crowd surf/handstand combo towards the end of the set is definitely worth a mention. Aaron and Sid are something of a dichotomy, they have a great back-and-forth chemistry on stage and between the two of them they stole the entire show.

If there had to be a nadir to this whole experience it was the ballad The Price We Pay. Not a song I’m particularly fond of but my own opinions aside it was pretty clear that everyone from the halfway point backwards showed similar disinterest as people began to talk loudly amongst themselves. Saying that the boys and girls down the front clearly kept their attention focused and a few (at Aaron’s request) even raised their lighters to the sky. My companion tried activating the strobe setting on his phone’s torch for the occasion but that didn’t pan out very well… especially when he couldn’t figure out how to turn the fucking thing off!

In summary, Heaven’s Basement once again put on a high octane and seriously energetic show. Tight sound, strong stage presence and a great audience response. I would definitely see these lads again… oh yeah and they’re incredibly British!

Setlist

Welcome Home
Can’t Let Go
Fire, Fire
Heartbreaking Son of a Bitch
Straight to Hell
Nothing Left to Lose
I am Electric
Paranoia
The Price We Pay
Jump Back
Reign on My Parade

Executioner’s Day

Review by Al Westlake

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