16th April | Exchange
Listening to the musings of some long-term fans behind me, it’s clear their most recent album has earned Daughters a lot of new fans. Those who were there last time the band visited Bristol note with a hint of pride how many more have turned out for the band on this occasion.
The frankly titled You Won’t Get What You Want, released last year, is a brilliantly hellish listen. It’s the album that your tinnitus-riddled, noise-loving mate hasn’t stopped trying to play you for the last year. I’m amongst those who’ve come to the band since the album was released, having been still to take my GCSEs the last time they released one.
They come with a fearsome live reputation; their recent performance for Kerrang! is a great taster of what to expect. There is a degree of ‘what’s going to go down?’ anticipation to the show. Yet the sense of anticipation here isn’t a rabid one – more hum than buzz.
As people wander in from the smoking area, tour support Jessica93, a post-punk one-man-band opens up. From recorded evidence, this is a band I had been excited to see, however it takes me a little time to warm to it live. Whether it’s the limiting nature of the loop pedal in trying to replicate tracks arranged for a four-piece or a slightly soupy mix, it’s not until third track, ‘Asylum’ that the stars begin to align. It’s this and closer, ‘Inertia’ that stand out amongst the set.
After sound checking their own instruments, Daughters step up from stage right and launch into ‘The Reason They Hate Me’, a track with a guitar riff like a malfunctioning hadron collider. It may be where I’m standing, but though not deadening, there is a lack of mids and treble which really changes the feel of track. The pummelling assault hits the body more than grinds the ears.
Already bleeding within seconds of coming onstage, the tour schedule doesn’t seem to have taken its toll on frontman Alexis Marshall, who in a few songs time is forcing himself to puke onstage. He dominates the stage, prowling around it, mic to his mouth as the other band members channel the energy of their parts into their stage personas. This adds further to the feeling of a collective ready to cry havoc and let rip.
Having burst onto the stage with two high-tempo tracks, the band then drop down to the procession-like ‘Satan in Wait’. During the chorus, the audience joins in with shouts of “this world is opening up,” all of us compelled to nod in sync to the song’s half-time rhythm. At this point the crowd resemble a sea crashing against the stage.
From here, the band continue to tear through their setlist. Such is the intensity that the mind rarely wanders, Marshall and the band’s onslaught commanding your attention throughout. By the time biblical closer ‘Ocean Song’ finishes, there is very much a feeling of watching a band which has hit the peak of its powers. After an apocalyptic eight minutes, walking out of the venue feels cathartic, as if having exorcised some 21st Century dread.
See Daughters perform live for Kerrang! here: