Tonight, on an Arctic night in Southampton, marks the UK live début of Black Light Burns, the band formed and fronted by Limp Bizkit riff king Wes Borland. However, if anyone tonight is expecting to break stuff or do any kind of rollin’ they are clearly in the wrong place as Black Light Burns are an entirely different prospect all together.
First things first, we have Welsh industrialist Jayce Lewis out to warm up the crowd, which he manages to do in fine form. A sound that incorporates all the best parts of Gary Numan, Combichrist and in some places even Depeche Mode, and to a lesser degree Orgy, into a big industrial sounding pot. If the last night on earth was going to be held in a rave, Jayce Lewis would soundtrack the whole thing. There is energy and confidence in abundance and although his sound has its roots in the past, there is a very modern feel to it and the band he has assembled are all able to pull it off live. Jayce is giving everything a real organic sound, rather than just sounding like its being pumped out by machines. It’s refreshing to see someone doing this kind of sound in a venue this small, but also doing it well.
Up next are the headline act Black Light Burns who walk onstage with little or no fanfare, but receive a rapturous response from the gathered crowd. This is largely down to Wes, but there is a real palpable sense of excitement from the crowd. The band hurtles, I do mean that literally, into opener ‘Stop A Bullet’ from their début album “Cruel Melody” and from that point on things just escalate. Over the course of the next hour, Black Light Burns run through tracks from both their albums,”Cruel Melody” and last years “The Moment You Realise You’re Going To Fall,” creating a set that is both explosive and diverse in nature. Wes Borland has come far as a frontman and feels more comfortable behind the mic as he contorts, twists and as he would put it “throws shapes” whilst cracking jokes and generally endearing himself to the audience below him.
Black Light Burns themselves couldn’t be further on the musical scale from Wes‘s day job if they tried and I think he likes it that way. Combining elements of Nine Inch Nails, the works of Mike Patton, along with bands like Primus and elements of Nick Cave to create something that is uniquely him. This works well in small spaces allowing the band to make things uncomfortable yet oddly inviting for the audience, creating an interesting gig going experience.
Black Light Burns, are a great band, formed from a creative mind that really comes alive in the live setting, that should be seen by as many people as possible. While they may never go on to be the biggest band in the world, you will be hard pressed to find a band that will provide a live experience as refreshing as this.