Butcher Babies

With support from Klogr and Eyes Set To Kill.
Rescue Rooms Nottingham 20th February 2018.

As I travelled North up the treacherous M1, to get to the Rescue Rooms which happens to be our venue tonight, I thought it only correct to blast out the new album ‘Lilith’ from the Butcher Babies (tonight’s headline act) which got released last year. In doing so, thanks to this bands sheer aggression and raw power, I found myself at the venue in no time at all, was I driving fast, probably faster than normal, as a result. I also appeared to have pins and needles in my face, due to all the grinning I was doing, forced on in the knowledge that I was off to see Butcher Babies again. It’s been some four years to the day, since I saw this band last!

As a side note, I’m starting to really enjoy visiting the Rescue Rooms venue as the staff are so friendly, are always happy to see me and they usually have the guest list ready for when the doors open. Tonight though, they didn’t because the band were late giving it to the door however, I told them my name and they stamped me in, no questions, in the knowledge that I was there for a reason and wouldn’t be lying. I guess, when the staff start to recognise your face, what with the amount of times I’ve attended this venue, they’re starting to trust me. This is just a small observation that makes me feel good. Thanks Rescue Rooms!

The first of the two support bands on tonight started their set very soon after doors opening, as it would appear the nights schedule was running late due to the Butcher Babies having a meet and greet in the venue, prior to the show, which meant the support bands didn’t really get a sufficient amount of time to complete sound check. I digress, tonight’s first band go by the name Klogr, which means absolutely nothing to me but seeing as this band are primarily from Italy, it may mean something profound and inspiring, in their native language? Either way, these guys play rock and metal and have toured the UK many times now, with the likes of Prong and Ghost, I think Rusty said, when I briefly spoke to him and PQ between sets. During that conversation we discussed many things, like the fact metal isn’t really celebrated in their own country as much as it is in the rest of Europe, so I asked, how did you get into rock/metal then? His reply, probably the same as many others our age “My older brother loved Metallica”. Enough said! The band are performing at every show on this run of 24 dates, across the UK and Europe and are travelling by van, driving themselves. Seriously, look at the locations, that’s a lot of driving, going past venues to be played at later. Seriously, who organises these tours, do they own a map? I thought Klogr where slow starting tonight, but they soon warmed up and the crowd started to respond but it was only the first night! By the end of the tour, this band will be on fire!

Eyes Set To Kill were the second support band on tonight and are also from America, Tempe, AZ to be precise. They too took a little time to get firing on all cylinders, which was a shame because I was looking forward to seeing this band perform. By enlarge, it was a credible set, but sadly Alexia’s amp was playing up on her and after 3 cable changes, I think she gave up on it and stuck to vocals. The band paid tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan, of the Cranberries, who sadly passed away earlier this year, by playing one of that bands biggest hits ‘Zombie’. Although Alexia’s guitar kept cutting out and her vocals suffered as a result, the crowd appreciated the bands gesture and cheered generously, out of respect for the late artist. Great band, just not at their best tonight, due to lack of sleep, mostly, but these guys will be a band to watch out for, in the future!

As previously stated, it’s been almost four years to the day since I last saw the Butcher Babies perform, in the very same venue, no less. That doesn’t mean to say they haven’t been here since, I recall them playing at Rock City Basement in 2017, but I missed that show, sadly. I have noticed this band seem to play the smaller venues here in the UK, which surprises me greatly, as they are one of the best and quite possibly one of the most brutal metal-core bands around at the moment. In a over saturated genre, I feel Butcher Babies have found a winning formula and stand out as one of the best in this genre.

They’ve got a very distinctive sound, which is easily recognisable. Yes, the two lead vocalists are drop dead gorgeous, which does help to give this band a dynamic edge but they are no less brutal, as a result. If anything, they are even more hard working, almost as if they are trying to prove that woman can do it too. Well, I know they can and I support them 100%! I love this band, they should be selling out arenas, they are that good. I also love how they make me work for my shots too, I mean, who doesn’t love a challenge, when photographing a band that doesn’t stop moving? It makes it more rewarding when you get a decent shot. I was respectful enough to adhere to the first three tracks rule usually imposed on gig photographers and as a result, it was the fastest 3 songs, of my life!

It may have been a long time since I last saw Butcher Babies perform, yet they are no less energetic or brutal since our last encounter! If first night nerves were present, they didn’t show – not with these professionals! If you’re a fan of Hatebreed, Devil Driver and Jinjer, then you seriously need to see this show while they’re here in the UK, because it’s BRUTAL!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)