REVIEW: NESHIIMA @ THE UNICORN, CAMDEN (03.10.19)
It is treated as a right of passage for any band who rocks to play The Unicorn, a legendary venue nestled in London's Camden Town. On this cold October night, we were blessed with the appearance of the fast-rising glaswegian nu-metal revivalists Neshiima along with Seething Akira, Shyly Virus and Cornflakes at Kelly's. Having seen Neshiima before, I was hoping for more of the same infectious energy that I knew they were able to pull off live and in such a small room.
Cornflakes at Kelly’s, a four-piece punk rock band from Coventry, were the ones who started the evening's proceedings off. They gave us an act that was full of youthful punk energy - joyful, bouncy beats were aplenty throughout their short but sweet set. This, coupled with the lively voice of lead vocalist Jack Cole, gave a feeling of being under a blue sky the whole time. James Robertson’s shouty vocals and Tyler Sheil’s backing vocals too helped to enhance the upbeat pop-punk feel of their songs. They also included an acoustic song, showing that there's a bit more to their music than the upbeat stuff.
ROCKODILE RATING: 9/10
Next up was Shyly virus. Orginally coming out of the metal rave boom of the mid 10s along with Pertubator and Magic Sword, the singular entity behind Shyly Virus has been bringing his loud, multi-coloured and blood stained cyberpunk meets death metal sound to stages ever since.
Despite not having as big of a production as some of the other people doing his type of music, he makes up for it with an intense live show that made such a amazing impact on me. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what Shyly Virus manages to pull off next!
ROCKODILE RATING: 10/10
Seething Akira, a five-piece electro punk act, were up next. Before they can even start, Kit Conrad (one of the vocalists) came around to shake the hand of everyone in the room, describing himself and the band as nice chaps from Portsmouth. This took place before he started running a couple of laps around the stage. Clearly, he has far too much energy to burn off! From the off they were very enjoyable, with Kit and co-vocalist Charlie Bowes taking their turns to deliver what would be easiest described as Rage Against the Machine meets the Prodigy.
There is an element of rawness to their music live that belies that they are actually quite polished at the same time, with both vocalists interchanging heavily. Charlie Bowes referred to Stu Radcliffe as drumming like a USB device, which drew a few smiles from the audience. While the turnout still isn't great, the band do their utmost to involve everyone there and make them feel part of it all, with Kit Conrad declaring that we should all get a house share with cats. I was almost sold on it myself until the mention of cats - if he'd mentioned dogs, I would have already picked up the keys to our wonderful new abode!
Seething Akira's set was fun as well as enjoyable, with both Kit Conrad and Charlie Bowes taking their turns between songs to speak with the crowd. I have no idea how Kit had the breath to breathe with the amount of running around he was doing, including joining in the hardcore pit to the last couple of songs. All in all, Seething Akira were absolutely brilliant!
ROCKODILE RATING: 10/10
The Unicorn has long been a dependable venue for live music where the sound has been rarely questioned, but tonight NESHIIMA fell victum to an almost total disaster when they accidently left their USB stick for most of their backing tracks and music effects back home in Glasgow. Luckily the band's guitar hero Ross Cloughley (with help of the the other support bands on the bill) managed to access them through the power of the cloud. Despite this hindrance, the quartet persevered and proficiently powered through an abundance of tracks from their Purple, Green and Orange EPs, with a couple of deep cuts thrown in for good measure.
Their energy never wavered throughout their entire show as they bounced around the venue, climbing on furniture and throwing in impromptu dabs whenever the mood saw fit. A particular highlight of Neshiima‘s set was when they unleashed the crushingly heavy "Caving In" to close off the set - it was the tightest I've ever heard this band play. The band's charismatic frontman Liam Hesslewood had the crowd in the palm of his hand for the entirety of their set with his soaring high notes and spine tingling screams, as well as his lyrical prowess whenever he decided to spit some bars.
If there's anything this set managed to do, it was leaving an emphatic statement that Neshiima are destined for bigger things. Their inviting blend of electronica, hip hop and bouncy metal is a formula for success and will appeal to a wide range of listeners. I hope that we get a proper full-length album in the near future!
ROCKODILE RATING: 10/10
Words by Tom Da Silva