Rival Schools @ KCLSU
Sometimes its better to take your time over things. Take this review for instance: nearly 2 months overdue, but perhaps with hindsight I'll be able to portray a more rounded account of the event in question, Rival Schools' first London show in six years. Walter and co, it seems, have definitely benefited from their break.
Reunion shows must be a nervy affair for the band, especially for one with a history of poor live shows, and front man Walter Schreifels seemed on edge as the band began their set with Travel By Telephone, opener of their only album United By Fate, backed by a huge banner of their now infamous logo. The crowd were enthusiastic though and sang every word right back at the band as they stormed through more tracks off their album and eased into the performance. It didn't feel like they'd been away for over half a decade. High Acetate packed a riotous punch and Good Things caused a lot of over-excited pogoing but it was the somber Undercovers On which got the most pleasing reaction. Nearly every attendee singing their hearts out, nostalgically remembering what it was to be fifteen and free again.
But Rival Schools don't just want to be remembered for United By Fate and tonight they revealed three or four new tracks, some taken from the unreleased sophomore effort that got leaked onto the web, that will hopefully feature on a new album (!). Each track showed huge amounts of promise -they've been "practising for 6 years", Schreifel joked - highlighting the band's tight playing, especially Ian Love's swirling guitar lines and Walter's growling vocals, and it will no doubt establish them with new fans and confirm old ones.
The end of the set came with a surprising cover of The Smith's How Soon Is Now, which I failed to recognise at the time without its jangly Johnny Marr guitar and thought was just another new RS track, and then as everyone expected the unique, abrasive blast that is Used For Glue. As the front of the room launched itself into a pit of swarming bodies, Walter peered from the edge of the stage, a satisfied smirk spread across his face, and I think all the attended had the same feeling as him as they stumbled out onto the embankment, wishing it was 2002 again but happy that even though its not, United By Fate can still take them back.
Rival Schools - Undercovers On
Rival Schools - Shared Information