Evil Scarecrow – Grand Central, Manchester 30/10/13

Evil Scarecrow are a band that really need to be seen live to be fully appreciated, and owing to the notoriety that their live performances have, it came as no surprise that Grand Central was already nicely full as the first band of the night, Bloodyard took to the stage.

The thing that instantly strikes you about this band is their incredible frontwoman Donna. The best way of describing her would be small-but-mighty, as although she may be small in stature, she had an impressive set of lungs on herself and her crowd participation tactics were great, with her frequently entering the crowd to perform from there – and even scaring one of the audience members at one point! The entire venue appeared to be her stage and the whole band wound up putting on a magnificent and memorable show as a result. I can definitely see myself making the effort to catch these again as they were, quite simply, amazing.

Unfortunately, the night took a little bit of a dip with the next band, Incassum. They weren’t bad and they played a fairly strong and tight set, but they weren’t the most engaging of bands and didn’t fully capture my attention which was a shame. The songs all sounded fairly similar to one another but they went down very well with the crowd, so who am I to judge?

Of course, the night only got going fully with the emergence of Evil Scarecrow onstage, arriving to a humongous cheer from the crowd and swiftly getting things started with opener Choose Metal. The set was a pretty good one – although it was quite disappointing they didn’t play The Book Of Doom or Vampyre Trousers – but everyone was completely involved from start to finish, with their song Crabulon being one of the highlights of the set. As soon as began, practically everyone in the room was doing the crab ‘pinching’ movement with their hands without being asked, prompting frontman Dr Hell to comment on the fact it took years to get people to do a robot dance but everyone instantly gets onboard for a crab dance! By the end of the song, everyone was scuttling left and right across the floor, but it’s not an Evil Scarecrow show if you’re not dancing like an idiot!

Such was the case with the best song of the night; the infamous Robototron, which involves everyone doing a robot dance in a ‘perfect square’. It truly is a sight to behold to witness a whole room of people dancing like robots (it doesn’t get old, no matter how many times you’ve seen Evil Scarecrow!) and Dr Hell was adamant on every single person in the room getting involved, stating that those who weren’t dancing were the ones who looked stupid.

They finished with their usual Final Countdown cover, complete with a story involving camels and time-travelling, and the room came alive for one last push with a mosh pit opening up in the centre of the pub – no can-can style dancing to it this time around!

Evil Scarecrow are on top of their game when it comes to live performances and if you haven’t seen them yet, what are you waiting for?

9/10

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About Natalie Humphries 1953 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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