The Vestals – The Duchess, York, 9th February 2013
A few days shy of the release of your debut single and with only a clutch of live shows under your belt, you are now going out on a 14 date UK tour supporting Pure Love and Turbogeist. When this means warming up for the more seasoned proto metal of the latter and even allowing for the fact that Frank Carter may well have diluted the hitherto wild, untrammelled power of his music - if not his stage performance, which still involves him spending more than half the set either held aloft by, or slab dab in in the middle of his audience - since jumping ship from the excoriating hardcore punk noise of Gallows to the far more refined rock ‘n’ roll of Pure Love, I guess you already know that it was never going to be easy.
When further account is taken of having had no more than a five minute soundcheck beforehand and this is coupled to the perennial vagaries of The Duchess’s acoustics, it is perhaps no wonder that the five young men from South Wales initially struggled. Mrs Halloween and Bored To Hell failed to clamber out of the quagmire of sound, the finer detail of their sparkling melodies lost somewhere in action in the relentless sludge. But when you all dress from head to toe in black and have a lead singer who bears more than a passing resemblance to a young Stephen Patrick Morrissey, there is always hope. And hope sprang eternal when he strapped on his guitar and The Vestals kicked into Perfect Pain, the lead track off their forthcoming double A-sided single.
Whether it was the sudden acquisition of confidence or a hole having been punched right through the earlier morass of sound by the addition of a third guitar, who can say but either way it made no never mind as The Vestals suddenly reached higher ground. Perfect Pain segued effortlessly into Songs That Don’t Exist and by the time that they hit the closing Seventeen (the other half of the debut single) the guitars and vocals soar and the band are starting to fly. Whilst their most immediate future looks bright, what lies beyond this will surely depend on whether The Vestals can sustain this promise over the duration of a longer set, a headline tour and first album.