King Nun and BLOXX opened for headliner INHEAVEN at The Haunt on the 18th in the last show on the UK leg of the top-billed band’s tour.
And if we for some reason take slots in the night’s billing as telling us something about the quality of the bands, it actually does serve as a good indicator of how good each band were- if completely reversed.
London four-piece King Nun were on first. The noisiest and most energetic alternative band I’ve seen in recent memory, they dominated the night for me as they demolished their set, playing to a crowd of maybe thirty people and finishing around 8pm.
In keeping with their output- they have only four songs out that I can find online- King Nun stormed through riffs and melodies, never letting their energy slow up long enough to even begin to bore their small audience.
Clear vocals, good lyrics and well thought through guitar sounds set the stage a little bit too nicely for the next two bands. Tight and incredibly engaging performers, King Nun weren’t to be topped- and they were definitely a tough act to follow.
BLOXX, another London-based four-piece band (and, coincidentally, also one with only four songs available on the internet) did do a decent enough job of following King Nun.
The Pop-Punk simplicity of their songs, their unassuming indie attitude, and their soulful vocals proved them right up there with King Nun as one of the tightest fresh-faced new indie bands in the UK to me.
Energy was definitely not lacking in this performance, either: their onstage antics were endearing and occasionally exciting if lacking the spur-of-the-moment charm King Nun produced seemingly by accident.
BLOXX played a satisfying and stylish set and proved ultimately far more interesting than the rose-toting headliner that followed them.
Another devotee to the growing trend of all-caps band names, London-based (again) Indie rock band INHEAVEN sound decent, if not incredible, on their recordings- something I can’t say was true of them live.
I would argue, though, that even in the studio they lack a lot of the authentic energy of the bands that supported them this night, and their approach to song and riff- writing (even more simplistic than BLOXX’s) combined with obvious decisions when it comes to sound, lyrics and melody made them the least interesting and by far the least enjoyable band on the lineup.
Occasionally sounding like they’re trying to write Christmas number ones but forgetting to pen lyrics about the holidays, INHEAVEN were boring in a way completely at odds with the moshing and excited crowd that showed up for them.
If I’d booked the night, I would have reversed the running order. Maybe, in a perfect world, the best band plays to the biggest crowd, but in ours, bland indie pop took precedent on this night over genuinely enjoyable alternative rock, and this is something that perhaps needs to be remedied.
My advice, were the UK part of this tour not just over, would have been to buy a ticket to any of INHEAVEN’s shows to show support for King Nun and BLOXX, and leave before they get around to playing.