When Arcane Roots announced that they will be playing at Sheffield’s iconic Leadmill as part of their UK tour, a big fat cross quickly went up in my calendar – this was one show not to miss. And boy, did the trio from London deliver on the night.
The perfect combination of alternative rock ballads and screaming post-hardcore math rock transported the entire audience into Arcane Roots’ magical introspective and angst-filled world. Arcane Roots were supported on their UK tour by The Hyena Kill from Grumble Bee.
A last-minute addition to the tour, The Hyena Kill took the place of their friends Brutus who had to drop out unexpectedly. It didn’t take long for the charismatic duo from Manchester to captivate the ever-growing audience, presenting material from their new album Exit Mask and finishing on my personal favourite Still Sick.The Hyena Kill are like a part-polished diamond. They retain enough uncut edginess to extrude pure joy of making music, yet produce very refined songs.
Following the musical in-your-face attitude of The Hyena Kill, Grumble Bee, Jack Bennett, was joined by bassist Zach Phelps and drummer Callum Connell for his UK tour. Throttling the ferocity of the evening, the trio jazzed up things with well-thought out counter-tempo cross over tunes and straight up alternative rock. The trio will play a series of festivals across the UK this summer and will be ones to watch. Just make sure to have your dancing shoes on, because you won’t be able to sit still.
By the time that Arcane Roots took to the stage, to thunderous applause by the adoring fans, the Leadmill had filled up and everybody was in the right mood for the nearly two-hour-long musical trip that was to come.
Listening to Arcane Roots’ studio work, one wonders how three people are going to play such a unique blend of styles in a live performance. Yet, they mastered it effortlessly, setting up in between songs, with vocalist Andrew Groves moving from screaming his lungs out while bouncing around with his guitar to sitting at the keys playing soulful ballad elements.
Arcane Roots presented a lot of material from their latest album Melancholia Hymns, mixed with well-known hits such as If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves from their Heaven & Earth EP.
Those who made their way down on Saturday night were treated to a well-balanced evening of the highest order from all three acts. The Hyena Kill set the mood beautifully, Grumble Bee calmed things down a little before Arcane Roots came out firing on all cylinders, dazzling everyone with a beautiful set akin to a concept album that gripped the audience from start to finish across the peaks and troths of intensity, brutality, and beauty.
Photography and Live Review of Arcane Roots @ Leadmill, Sheffield on 3 March 2018 by Gunnar Mallon.