A criminally underattended O2 (I know it’s a school night, but this was Prong we were talking about) it may have been but the gathered crowd were treated to a great night’s entertainment.

Openers HARK were a bit of a new one on me, not sure how they had managed to pass me by though as they tore through half-an-hour of huge riffs and great melodies, like a messed-up fusion of Karma to Burn and The Melvins. The three lads from South Wales made a great noise and showed some great ideas by combining short punchy heavy sections with more experimental longer instrumentals during the same song. They look a damn good prospect and shows like this will do them the world of good. Small crowd to see them, but pretty much all appreciative from what I heard.

Steak Number Eight were next and not only followed what was a top opening band, they even raised the bar a little higher. Describing themselves as ‘atmospheric sludge’ and that pretty much hits the nail on the head. Absolutely crushing at times, calm and melodic at others, the influence of bands like ISIS and Deftones are fully on show, and together it comes across like a really angry Sonic Youth (would be cool to see them cover some of their heavier tracks). I hadn’t heard too much of them before the show but this was a damn good performance. More stuff I need to get hold of.

The night seemed to fly by and it didn’t seem long before both support acts had finished and it was time for Prong. Arriving to the theme from The French Connection, this tour is slightly different to last year’s run in support of “Ruining Lives” in that this time they have an album of covers to promote. They mix a fair few tracks from “Songs From The Black Hole” into their set and they all went down really well. A great version of Discharge‘s ‘Doomsday’ and Black Flag‘s ‘The Bars’ (probably my favourites from the album), and also the Killing Joke and Sisters of Mercy tracks. After the obligatory ‘Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck’ came the one track I was really hoping for that they missed on that last run, and they didn’t disappoint as ‘Prove You Wrong’ ended a short encore to finish off a brilliant night. Would have been cool to see a bigger crowd, but the ones that weren’t there seriously missed out.

Prong setlist:
Ruining Lives, Banned in D.C., The Bars, Seeing Red, Beg to Differ, Unconditional, Eternal Heat, Lost and Found, Doomsday, Turnover, Revenge Best Served Cold, Rude Awakening, The Barriers, Another Wordly Device, Whose Fist is This Anyway, Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck, Power of the Damager, Vision Thing, Third From the Sun, For Dear Life, Prove You Wrong

Prong – Official Website
Steak Number Eight – Facebook page
HARK – Official Website

Photos by Stephen Fallows.