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LIVE: Creeper @ O2 Academy Bristol

Creeper kickstart their Sacred Blasphemy Tour at the O2 Academy Bristol, back in the city for the first time since their Theatre of Fear 2017 tour, ahead of their UK celebrations for their third studio album ‘Sanguivore’ and it was a real treat for those who haven’t experienced the pleasure of seeing Creeper before ; a celebration of a new era, their new music, and their new dynamic - it’s bold, it’s brash, and it’s downright bloody brilliant. 

I’ve seen Creeper many times over the last eight years, travelled all over the UK, watched them kill off The Secret Society, but Sunday night was nothing like before. Will Gould has consistently taken on the role of gamesmaster, weaving narratives ranging from the Stranger and the Callous Hearts to spinning newer tales of Annabel, vampires, and their enigmatic familiar Darcia - who made appearances throughout the show, casting a downbeat, almost monotonous yet utterly humorous shadow on the venue that evening; but it’s not quite What We Do In The Shadows - it’s darker, it’s heavier, and it’s a whole lot bloodier. 

It's not just a gig anymore when Creeper are playing - it’s a performance. The theatrics are exhilarating, and on par with the standards of a Meatloaf production; Gould takes the reins of puppet master and flatters the crowd with thrill and mystery. Sunday saw the live debut of Further Than Forever; a gnarly, 9 minute epic - with an Exorcist-esque opening and those hallowed guitar licks from Ian Miles, the track takes you on a tantalising journey of cursed romanticism. It’s cinematic, a rock opera in the making, and it’s just the beginning of Creepers incredible ascent to the top.

The rest of their set included fan favourites such as Hiding With Boys, Black Rain, and Crickets - with the ever-glistening vocals of Hannah Greenwood coming to life. Of course, they paid their respects to their elder tracks such as 2015’s romantic VCR. 

Looking past their characters, they let their masks slip, showing gratitude for fans’ praise and their continuation of choruses from I Choose To Live, and the ever-emotive Misery - one that I’ve certainly shed a few tears to. It’s a love affair, with the crowd, with their jobs, with the results of years of effort and hard work. Gould stood, dumbfounded by the crowd's reaction, a tear in his eye as he smiled at their accolades and efforts in screaming back every lyric without the demand from the vocalist. 

The show came to its finale, ending with Cry to Heaven, an exhilarating release taken from their recent record; Cry to Heaven served as a reminder of the capability of Creeper, their soundscapes filled with enigma and scope. The band closed, with one final dance, as Darcia returned to stage with the severed head of William Gould. A dramatic ending for what had been a highly intoxicating production. So what’s next for a band who have already gone missing, created a world of mystery and live in the shadows behind vampiric guises?

Words: Tate Powell


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