It's a Thursday. I get back from my morning lecture to an e-mail from my editor in my inbox, telling me that perhaps an interview with the Bled would be on for tonight at the Wedgewood Rooms. A few hours and a few e-mails and phone calls later and I'm walking my way down to the venue, when I receive a phone call from the band's PR to tell me that they aren't at the venue, but still at Heathrow Airport - a 5 hour delay at immigration : the Bled don't have work visas - and the interview probably won't happen. It is a difficult start, but I feel more sorry for the band. They are late on the first date of a headline tour and are quite probably exhausted and jet lagged.

After this massive delay, the Fall of Troy come onto the stage at around 10:15 to massive cheers from the entire crowd and a massive apology to go with it. Despite the delay the Fall of Troy tear through their much shortened set of 4 songs with high intensity riffs. Despite their songs being largely instrumental they have excellent vocals, although sometimes their "post-rock" effects come across as sounding weak. The group are without a doubt highly skilled musicians. Their music comes across immensely well to the crowd and, as far as three pieces go, the band shows so much more talent than a lot of hardcore outfits of twice their number out there, They are a shining example of relatively unrecognised talent. Despite their obvious discomfort at appearing first in front of a crowd 2 hours later than they expected, they are well accepted and respond well, Overall an excellent show from a band on their first jaunt to the UK.

After an incredibly fast change around Fear Before the March of the flames come onto the stage, and the extra support in the crowd really shows. This reflects on the band as they play an energetic angular and twisted set, demonstrating their own style of awkward hardcore - though their time spent waiting and the lateness of the show definitely shows - you can see in the band's faces that although their hearts are in it their bodies aren't and by the end of the set they are definitely showing signs of lagging, - a well played set and an excellent warm up for the Bled although I can't help but imagine with a bit more pre-show rest the set would have been an absolute stunner.

After much anticipation the Bled finally take to the stage, playing a highly powered, intense set and a mix of both old songs and the first live UK airings of new album 'Found in the Flood' (although much more from the older albums) all of which went down well. Despite the long wait and their obvious jet lag the Bled draws the crowd in, creating not only a stunning reaction, but feeding off it themselves with excellent renditions of 'My Assassin' and 'Sound of Sulfur'. The Bled have recently been facing a bit of a backlash over both the new album and the crowd they are drawing in: looking past this you can see a group that not only love what they do, but really want the crowd to love it as well, with their front man James Munoz really working the crowd and getting them involved at every opportunity. He proves how glad they are to be on this tour during set closer 'Red Wedding' when he literally throws himself into the crowd during the final beat down allowing the crowd to get close and sing with him. A blinding performance especially after all the mishaps of the night, and, if a band can come back from a series of events like this, then tonight proves it.

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Commenting On: Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, 24/11/2005 - Bled

ie London, England

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