Lostprophets, Shepherd's Bush Empire 25/8/10


With a massive main stage show at the Reading and Leeds Festivals only days away, Lostprophets choose London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire to limber up and try out their set list. Joining them on the bill are fellow Welshmen Attack Attack who get the crowd hyped with their catchy pop-punk; something which should have been done initially by US rockers Foxy Shazam. To say an acquired taste is needed to appreciate this band would be quite accurate. Having been compared to Queen and The Darkness in the past, it is soon clear that this is apparent not only within their music but their persona too. There is no doubting their energy as frontman Eric Nally spends most of the set flamboyantly dancing about the stage and taunting the crowd. This proves to be a slight shock to the system for many people in attendance as they are received with occasional booing and heckling. Theatrics aside, the band’s live sound is strong and engaging as they perform songs largely from second record Introducing. They go all out for the last one, amid acrobatics as they furiously belt their instruments into a conclusive frantic frenzy. This gains a bit of respect from the crowd as they applaud the effort (then again this could’ve also been because they were leaving the stage). It was all so promising in the beginning, but unfortunately the dramatics were too much for the generic Lostprophet fan.

These fans finally get what they came for when Lostprophets take to the stage with Can’t Catch Tomorrow. They immediately commence with Burn Burn which sees most of the room engulfed within a massive mosh pit that goes on to last the entirety of the show. It’s Not The End Of The World and For He’s A Jolly Good Felon follow, but the focus doesn’t stay on the new songs for long. Killer record Start Something is the main star tonight as To Hell We Ride, Make A Move and We Are Godzilla, You Are Japan are dusted off for our hearing pleasure. It’s so refreshing to hear songs that they don’t play very often and this notably has a positive effect on the crowd. We Are Godzilla particularly boasts as it sends everyone into complete hysteria. Even with an amusing Backstreet Boys chorus thrown in before the drop, it was an improvement on what they played at the O2 Academy Brixton back in February. Apparently you can’t go wrong with a good old cheesy cover as the theme is continued when they pay tribute to Reading and Leeds headliners Guns N Roses by playing the introduction of Sweet Child Of Mine.

Vocalist Ian Watkins reveals that the last few songs involve us going “back in time”. After telling fans that they should be ashamed of themselves if they didn’t know the lyrics, they launch into Fake Sound Of Progress and Shinobi Vs. Dragon Ninja. He needn’t have been worried as they attract the largest crowd reactions, predictably along with Last Train Home and Rooftops. Even with this being the case, Where We Belong stands out for me on the night. Its uplifting lyrics and melody consistently make it a great live song and tonight it was the best I’ve heard it yet. Unlike their tour earlier in the year, it becomes clear that this gig is not about being serious and impressing anybody, it’s about having a good time and playing some old tunes. Because of this, the atmosphere is much more relaxed and feels like a typical laid-back Lostprophets show. Ian Watkins and Jamie Oliver even take it as far as rapping between songs. (Not badly I might add). In their usual style, they return for an encore and surprise the crowd with a gripping performance of Sway, another gem from 2004’s Start Something. As the only song on the set list I had never heard live before, it was a personal highlight. A one off show full of classic oldies was promised and that’s exactly what we got. If you weren’t there, you only have yourself to blame.

To see my review on Clink with pictures click here

Check out more of Marcus Maschwitz's amazing photos here

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