The Hyena Kill @ The Castle
A unique gig from Manchester's The Hyena Kill where they perform their album Atomised in full to a small, sweaty crowd at The Castle... words and photos by Anthony Firmin
Bear Makes Ninja are an alt-rock three piece from Lincoln so they have travelled some distance for this evenings show. Their songs are catchy and danceable yet complex (think pop with a dash of djent) and cover interesting subjects such refusing to be served fried chicken in the local take-away. They are enthusiastic even if they let themselves down by poor vocals; the crowd seem to love them though, the last song Shenanigans proving their most popular.
This has been a momentous year for The Hyena Kill with the release of their album Atomised to rave reviews, supported by some incendiary shows in support of it including a sold-out event at The Deaf Institute. On this current jaunt they managed to slot in this show at The Castle – and the back room is rammed.
The first two numbers are so new they don’t even have names, the band knew we would love to hear fresh material and they are not wrong. What then follows is a run through the album with guitarist Steven Dobb and drummer Lorna Blundell giving their all through every song.
Still Sick drives the crowd into a frenzy and small mosh pit ensues, mental in this small room which only holds 70 people. I retire to the relative safety of the back of the room and witness an enthusiastic crowd surfer, considering the size of the venue he struggles to remain aloft, a perilous and potentially foolish adventure yet returning to terra firma with a huge grin on his face.
The midway point see’s ex-Kill singer Sally Mason provide her vocal skills to The Waiting Room as she does on the album, a slower song which gives the audience chance to catch their breath before the onslaught continues with Tongue Tied in a room that is now more akin a sauna, I haven’t sweated so much at a gig in years, followed by probably my favourite Kill song, the Tool-esque Erase You.
The final song, title track Atomised, hasn’t been performed live before and it is unlikely to be again according to Dobbs. It comes across more intensely live making a remarkable gig even more special. An essential Manchester band to see live.