Live Review: Loathe + Harbinger

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Loathe + Harbinger // The Flapper, Birmingham (UK)
Words & Photos by Kat Bennett

I knew I was in for a decent gig when five minutes before Loathe broke loose I overheard two guys behind me arguing over the fact one of them had gone and got pizza from upstairs: “Mate you do not wanna be eating that when it all kicks off!” Clearly one was a massive fan, while the other was a first timer. They agreed to put the pizza at the front of the stage to soak up loathe then it would be tastier.

The build up to the start was well crafted; the two retro TV screens either side of the stage were unveiled and had white noise dripping into the room along with eerie visuals to match the sound. Without any encouragement, the crowd closed in to the front in one movement, expectantly. Any apprehension from the crowd was brilliantly shattered when Loathe launched into their first song.

Within seconds, the fans in Loathe t-shirts were shouting along, throwing shapes while the band threw back riff heavy sounds and Kadeem spat out lyrics like verbal warnings, clearly known by heart by the fans. There’s no way you can stand still at a Loathe gig; you’re furiously mashing your head to the chunky thump of the music, you get involved by jumping around to the faster heavy rhythms or get your groove on during the hip hop tinged instrumental bits. To say the crowd gets involved is an understatement! When the mic stand was shoved in the centre of the floor the fans didn’t hesitate to scream lyrics into it like add on members of the band!

Even with a touch of dark electro, the band have blended familiar metal patterns of rhythms seamlessly into their own unique sound. The band and vocalist Kadeem work together in a way that looks effortless but screams energy. Loathe: go see them. But don’t eat pizza, it will get messy.

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