Twelve Foot Ninja at RebellionSupport: Uneven Structure| Mask of Bees
April 10, 2017 at Rebellion
Promoter: CMH Live
When two of tech’s bigger bands descend upon Manchester, it’s bound to be a good night.
Mask of Bees open the show with the confidence of headliners. The local act play complex jazzy math rock with extensive use of saxophone, bringing some excellent technical musicianship, and an eye for a groove. The star of the show, however, is their vocalist, smartly dressed in blue waistcoat and tie, and acting like a man possessed. From aggressive howls into the face of his colleagues, to anguished cleans from the floor, he prowls the tiny stage like a caged killer. An utterly captivating performance all round.
It’s been five and a half years since I saw Uneven Structure, the show that got me into tech metal, and it’s taken them a similar length of time for them to release anything new. Vocalist Matthieu Romarin switches from savage growls to ethereal cleans at ease throughout the opening songs from debut Februus, while Arnaud Verrier steals the show, pummelling the kit relentlessly, eyes tight shut, big grin plastered across his face. And with good reason; the new material sounds massive. Hopefully it won’t be a five year wait until a third album and proper tour.
Obviously, the logical follow-on from the eccentricities of Mask of Bees and Uneven Structure’s post-metal leanings is a 90’s alt-metal party for the tech generation (djeneration?). Only a band as eclectic and talented as Twelve Foot Ninja can follow two such incredible and diverse live performances and excel so magnificently.
Within minutes of taking the stage, the jam-packed crowd is under their spell – and with good reason; the bounciness is infectious. The energy doesn’t let up. The momentum is only broken (well, restrained momentarily) by two forays into comedy – one a story about someone from Neighbours, the other a re-enactment of the “how busy are you” skit from their ‘One Hand Killing’ video. They were relentless, tight, and, perhaps most importantly, fun. Apparently, the band hadn’t had a chance to sleep for 40 hours since leaving Australia; it wasn’t noticeable in the slightest.