On Saturday the 5th of March 2016, Fearless Vampire Killers – an English five-piece from Beccles, Suffolk – made a triumphant return to the notorious Sheffield nightclub, Corporation.
The alternative rock quintet have been on the scene since 2008 and have been assembling a legion of heavily devoted fans ever since. They first grabbed the public’s attention with their Steampunk attire and the whimsical lyrics and instrumentation of their music, which was inspired by the fantasy world of Grandomina, created by the author and Fearless Vampire Killers co-front-man, Laurence Beveridge. However, their latest release, ‘Bruises’ (which they are currently touring to promote), sees the band drop their literary crutch and experiment with a more upfront, more personal approach.
The first time Fearless Vampire Killers headlined a gig at the Corporation was on the ‘Killing is Dead’ tour back in October 2012 alongside The Dead Lay Waiting. Since then, the amount of people attracted to the band has grown a significant amount and some are willing to travel greater distances, with one fan having travelled all the way from Florida in order to follow the ‘Bruises’ tour.
The crowd were treated to a three band warm up, which was clearly much needed after the long wait out in the biting city wind. Sheffield’s own Chayser got the ball rolling, with some light-hearted humour wedged between bursts of aggressive instrumentation. The baton was then passed to Miss Vincent, who instantly won the crowd over by entering to a musical snippet from Star Wars before diving straight into more adrenaline-fuelled punk-rock. Lastly came the Scottish female-fronted Vikovi, who by this point had no trouble conducting the already energised – and in some cases intoxicated – crowd.
Once their turn had finally arrived, Fearless Vampire Killers were welcomed onto the stage by an eruption of shrieks and squeals. Hoards of teenagers thrust themselves towards the barrier as the band plunged into ‘Say What You Want from Me (The Ghost You Left Behind)’. Already you could see a change in the band; they had cast aside the welding goggles and talcum powder and had donned a more casual jeans-and-leather look, matching their new stripped down approach to song-writing.
As expected, they delivered a fiercely powerful performance, but as they blasted through their set, you could tell they were feeling surer of themselves. Their smiles were more genuine, and their sound was sleeker. The fourteen song set list (including encore) consisted of an explosive mix of tracks taken from both of their full albums, ‘Militia of the Lost’ and ‘Unbreakable Hearts,’ with all six songs from ‘Bruises’ woven in between. The singles ‘Braindead’ and ‘All Hallows Evil’ were also stuck in there, much to the crowd’s pleasure.
The chemistry between the band members manifested itself in their performance and seeped into the audience. During the songs ‘Like Bruises’, ‘Keep Smiling’ and ‘Turn Your Heaven to a Tomb’ especially, the crowd caught little glimpses of tenderness shared between the gang of childhood friends. Then, during ‘Stepping Stones’ Laurence sang the line “what mattered most to me, just pixels on a screen”, which most of the young members of the audience could undoubtedly relate to, except in that moment, when what mattered most to them was right before them in the flesh. Such a realisation was enough to reduce some fans to tears.
As the final notes of ‘All Hallows Evil’ rang out and the band exited the stage, a chant of “F-V-K” detonated from within the audience. Never a band to refuse their fans, Fearless Vampire Killers burst back into the spotlight and drove straight into an impassioned performance of ‘Maeby’ with every word screamed right back at them.
Despite their ever growing popularity, and the recent successes that have come with touring Europe with the likes of In This Moment and Escape the Fate,Fearless Vampire Killers remain humble and grateful to those who have helped and supported them throughout their journey.
With a work ethic so strong, a talent so raw and a fan base so incredibly devout, Fearless Vampire Killers are destined for greatness, and are rapidly on their way to achieving it.
This FVK article was written by Tyler Turner, a GIGsoup contributor