Rarely does a band holding down a support slot deliver with a notable and memorable force. This is certainly not the case for Night Verses who bring a unified energy and delivery as if they were playing to an academy sized room of devoted fans rather than The Joiners. Their mix of intricate melodies and hefty grooves coupled with frontman Douglas Robinson’s commanding vocals create a unique post-hardcore sound, which shines in this kind of setting. They add further depth to their music, with their live show that needs to be witnessed to fully understand their potential. A great promise is showcased tonight; Night Verses are certainly one to keep an eye on.

A hard act to follow they may be, but if anyone is up to that task it’s Norma Jean who take the ferocity up a few notches with their well cured brand of sludgy metallic hardcore. Even having been in the game for a lengthy seventeen years, it’s immediately clear they have no intentions on letting up as Corey Brandan firmly plants his microphone stand against the ceiling and the band throw themselves into their aggressive set.

The set-list featured a selection of songs that span to each stage of their career, with at least one song from each album being included. Old-school tracks such as ‘Creating Something Out Of Nothing…’ and encore ‘Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste’ were guaranteed to impress, but the show really reached its plateau at its mid-section.

Playing a string of songs from their impressive latest release Wrongdoers, concrete slabs of pure adrenaline ‘If You’ve Got It At Five…’ and ‘The Potter Has No Hands’ are a true showing of a band rejuvenated. Even with ‘Sword In Mouth, Fire Eyes’, a song that leans to the band’s melodic end of the spectrum had a huge impact, gaining a heart-warming reception as it hit its chorus.

With the release of arguably one of the strongest albums of their long career and the maintained chaos of their live show, Norma Jean proves their relevancy and they’ve earned their place as one of the best at what they do.

Rob Sayers

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