So, if we didn’t know about Seether, then why are we here? The answer to that lies in the choice of support band. Heaven’s Basement are a band that we have had a lot of time for and have had for a long time. Their history is complicated and long, first they Hurricane Party - attracting A&R man extraordinaire John Kalodner to their first EP - then they were Roadstar, before becoming HB in 2008 after a split with manager Laurie Mansworth (who now looks after The Treatment).
Throughout all that time they have made fabulous hard rock records. Last years “Unbreakable” EP showing that again, and given the amount of time they spend on the road they have no problems winning another crowd over tonight. Singer Aaron Buchanan has only been in the band for a year but looks born to the role, with his effortless charm and seemingly boundless energy. They (finally) have a debut album out next year and the track they play from this “There Is Else Left To Lose” gives notice that it might be very good, but as always it is “Reign On My Parade” and “Executioners Day” that steal the show. Job – as always – done.
Seether, rather quietly, have become a very big deal it seems. Given the size of the crowd and the sense of expectation you might have expected a show to rival the Down one in this very room last month, that it never reaches any of those heights is entirely due to the band themselves.
The three piece have some good songs, witness the dark and brooding opener “No Jesus Christ” and the fine slab of American arena rock that is “Here and Now” for example. But to be brutally honest, they have absolutely no charisma at all.
Whilst it would be dull if every band behaved like Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie or Kiss, it wouldn’t have killed the group to involve the crowd at some point, instead singer Shaun Cooper is content to mumble “thank you” after each song and leave the gaps drenched in feedback.
Perhaps we should have expected such a low-key show. The opening told us as much. There was no backdrop, for example, and no intro music. Which is fine up to a point, but they were here headlining to 1400 people and it needed a spectacle to go with their undoubted talent.
“Country Song” could have been turned into a sing-a-long and the insanely catchy “Fake It” could have been a showstopper, but it wasn’t. Cooper singing “The Gift”solo was just dull, before the show ended with “Remedy” (which is a dead ringer for Nevermind era Nirvana) and no encore – that would have been too much like showbusiness.