I’m still surprised at how small some of the venues are that The Defiled are playing in. Despite their devoted fans and countless appearances at Sonisphere and Jagermeister tours, they still feel like they are teetering on the brink of stardom.
As 200 excited fans poured into the Talking Heads in Southampton, Spanish metallers Killus (7/10) started off the show. Their unique look, coupled with catchy industrial style beats were a hit with the crowd. They got a bigger reaction than a lot of opening bands are usually bestowed with. They were reminiscent of American Head Charge in their attitude and energy, with their stage presence during songs such as Feel The Monster, captivating everyone.
Next up was Avatar (9/10) from Sweden. They are the headliners on the European leg of this tour, but in the UK they are second on the bill. There is something quite enchanting about this band. They almost have a circus feel to them, as they each appear on stage in turn to take a bow. When the imposing frontman Johannes strides onto the stage, the crowd go wild. They launch straight into their latest hit, Hail The Apocalypse and the atmosphere turns electric. With the audience at their mercy, they blast through their back catalogue with precision and skill. Some funny and much appreciated crowd interaction helps keep everyone involved and fan favourites like Paint Me Red and Smells Like A Freakshow cements the idea that this is a band to be reckoned with.
By the time The Defiled (8/10) hit the stage, the club is a sweaty mass of tired bodies, but this is a band that always gives 100% live. Opening with single As I Drown, which has the perfect beat to bounce to, gets everyone’s attention. A mixture of hits from debut album Grave Times and their latest offering, Daggers, fuelled the atmosphere. This stage is too small to contain their full live show, so it has to be a toned down version but it still packs the sting in the tail of a band that are tight and together. The recent departure of long time guitarist Aaron Curse, doesn’t seem to have had a detrimental effect, as they sound like they were always meant to be a four-piece.
Needles beats the drums like a technical wizard, The AVD throws the keyboard around like the Jager soaked maniac he is, Vincent Hyde crowd surfed while still playing his bass and singer Stitch D growls into the mic with a guttural roar filled with emotion.
Southampton once again proves that 200 people can be crazier than 800 in London, as for the second time they had people swinging from the lighting rigs. The band were visibly spurred on by this and finished up looking like it was their best night of the tour. After all of this, it still begs the question as to why this band isn’t selling out Brixton Academy. They are on the edge of greatness, but what will it take to push them over?
The DefiledTalking Heads Southampton - December 4th 2014
Photographer: Colm Browne