Billy Talent

There’s something about gigs at the Roundhouse. It’s always a bit more effort getting in and around the place than it should be, the beer’s definitely way too expensive and the staff aren’t particular happy that there’s “alternative” gigs there unless it’s someone like Steve Miller (went to that, cheers), but it’s a very special place.

Tonight’s openers are Don Broco, who have arrived with an extra few dance moves in their already silly repertoire. When all is said and done this evening, though, it’s not their best performance ever. The sound hasn’t really done them any favours, but there’s definitely something a little lacking. That said, the earlycomers aren’t bothered, and plenty of crowd splits and smiling faces are seen throughout. Every other time we’ve watched the band this year it’s been excellent, so either we were exhausted from Warped and ill-prepared to cope with “The Walk”, or the band could do with a Christmas break sooner rather than later!

After a short intermission, AWOLNATION are next to the stage. The band have always been a bit of an odd entity and regularly seem to appear on tours without really fitting in (which isn’t a bad thing itself). Tonight they’re a fun watch, but it’s a little difficult to pick out their true redeeming feature. The crowd seem a little more concerned with getting to the main event, but it’s an interesting watch in the mean time.

Billy Talent are a little late on stage tonight, but as they end up doing an hour and 20 minutes, it doesn’t really matter once they get started. As with their performance at the Garage earlier in the year, the band are simply mesmerising. It’s also significant again that the songs that they have reserved for the encore are some of the best rock songs of the last 20 years. ‘Fallen Leaves’ steals the show yet again, but the band show an even bigger room that they’re so much more than a band to throw on a festival bill. With the band’s new album, ‘Dead Silence’ fully sunk in, the singles get a fantastic reaction tonight, and they rightly steal the show. The lack of bullshit from the band is refreshing, and between the Lyxzen-esque moves from their frontman and the best hair in the biz, they’re a unique force in rock music. A seriously fantastic performance (even for a Sunday night), and proof that Billy Talent have it all still to offer.

TOM AYLOTT