As Sirens Fall – The Exchange, Keighley (23rd September 2018)

One year to the day since their last appearance in their hometown of Keighley, and perhaps their most emotional show to date, As Sirens Fall return to that very same stage at The Exchange filled with pride after a hugely successful and jam-packed year so far. A lot can change within a year, and it’s easy and mesmerising to see how much they have changed and grown, both musically and personally with latest release Where Lost Things Go. Playing to a sold-out show is imaginably, one of the most humbling experiences a band can face, and for this Northern rock quintet on this fabulous occasion, they absolutely smashed it out of the park. 

Joining As Sirens Fall for the climax of their trio of appetiser shows were Yorkshire’s finest pop rockers in Your Illuminations, who kicked off the party with lights glowing on their guitars and a crowd-pleasing energy that radiated happiness throughout the room. Following this exceptional effort were fellow home-grown talent in Fail the Enemy, offering a powerful, gritty set from their recently released eponymous EP. Finally, power duo Rival Bones rounded off the supporting acts with more might and spark than some bands with 4 or 5 members, showing that it’s all about quality, not quantity. 

Stepping back onto this stage one year on, it was clear that As Sirens Fall were changed men. With more fire and showmanship, it was almost as if they were collectively a lot more comfortable back in their hometown. Packing a punch with set opener ‘Like Vultures’, Mikey Lord’s silvery voice soared into the hearts and ears of everyone in the room. These boys were home. 

Their collection of tracks from ‘The Hospital Party and ‘Where Lost Things Go’ delighted the audience, with the whole troupe getting into the spirit of the evening, and if you’re bassist Jason Doveston, literally jumping for joy at the end of ‘Last Goodbyes’. Jaunty track ‘Lily’ allowed you to see the amazing riffs from guitarists Richard Hadley and Adam Doveston respectively, along with Lord’s more erratic vocal efforts. 

Ballsy, driving percussion from Jarlath McCaughery certainly showed throughout the set, but newer tracks ‘She Runs With the Wolves’ and ‘My Only Ghost’ truly allowed him to shine. Stripped back, piano-led track ‘Getaway’ saw Lord’s silvery vocals echo throughout the emotional room, with lights of phones dancing wherever you looked. His spontaneous tinkering on the keys before the track itself were wonderful, and rendered the room silent. A special guest joined on stage for the metallic track ‘State of the Artist’: Fail the Enemy drummer Bailey Roper, whose gnarly vocals coupled with Lord’s more delicate tones married beautifully. It’s clear that all the bands partaking in this show are extremely talented, and to collaborate together would be the stuff that dreams are made of. 

A nice little treat for veteran fans was the appearance of ex-guitarist Ben Aldham towards the end of the set. You can take the lad out of As Sirens Fall, but you can’t take the band out of the lad, and he nailed the bouncy riffs as if he were never gone. Wrapping up the evening with fan-favourite ‘Smoke’ allowed the room to erupt for one last time, celebrating their comeback to Keighley with a selfie with their adoring crowd. 

With their Halloween tour eerily tip-toeing around the corner, it doesn’t matter if you couldn’t quite make it to this show, you only have mere weeks to wait for their next outing on the stage. With inside sources promising surprises and something never before seen from the boys, you’d be a fool to miss out on the My Only Ghost tour next month.

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