For the past few years the heavier side of the music world has fallen in love with the idea of bands playing certain albums in their entirety, and tonight is no exception. However this show may have flown under the radar for a lot of you, as Polar headline The Barfly in Camden Town to play their latest album, ‘Shadowed By Vultures’ in full. The record was released early last year and has since then taken the band across the UK and Europe several times, each time to a bigger and more aware audience. So tonight will mark the end of the SBV album cycle, and the band wanna go out with a bang here in London.
Lock & Key waste no time in dialling up the heavy levels with their brand of hard hitting hardcore after a hip hop intro tape the band explode into business. Bodies in the crowd instantly start to move and heads immediately bang. Their style of music is more than just meat n’ potatoes hardcore, the lyrics connect and the use of melody is inconsistent in a positive light. Rich Lardner is a commanding frontman full of confidence and gets the two steppers stepping and the gang chants to ring loud during ‘No Acceptance’. There’s even a new song in the set which will be featured on the bands debut album, due out this year hopefully. An engaging performance closes out with the colossal ‘So Alone’. A win for the boys.
Giants are a punkier outfit and raise the energy levels with their skate punk and high octane songs. It’s a break neck speed opening and everyone in here tonight is lapping up every second of it. Bodies fly forward to get a hold of the mic and sing back the bands positive punk lyrics, which the band are clearly enjoying. It’s a more diverse set of songs than Lock & Key and there’s even a few new songs thrown into the set off of the bands long awaited debut album, which was made due to a successful Pledge campaign. Another blinder of a set adds to the brimming atmosphere in here tonight as everyone gets ready for the moment they’ve been waiting for for a few months now.
Taking to the stage is the headliners and the boys look focused and determined, Polar mean business. From the moment ‘First Breath’ starts its pandemonium in the Barfly, the crowd pulsates forward and everyone loses their shit when ‘Bloodlines’ kicks off. “See you in hell” the songs key lyric is deafening and is the first of many memorable moments, ‘Glass Cutter’ is a brutal and beautiful spectacle followed by the mass sing-a-long that is ‘Black Days’. After a slightly awkward 5 minutes or so of setting up a keyboard, Ellie Price makes her way on stage to perform the show stealing ‘Before The Storm’, a track that was deemed as a risk by many fans but one that pulls off magnificently live and on record, a genuine once in a lifetime moment.
After that Adam Woodford has the audience in the palm of his hands, stalking the stage like a man possessed he commands everyone in here to sing, shout and go ballistic. He gives a heartfelt speech during instrumental track ‘Paradise’ that shows how appreciative and thankful the 5 piece are after an up and down past 18 months or so. ‘Our Legacy’ unites everyone and signals the end of Shadowed By Vultures. There’s still time for an encore and ‘Destroy’ looks set to level the place before the standard closer of ‘H.E.L.L’ see’s everyone sit down to then jump the fuck up at the request of Woody. This has been one of the best and most memorable album shows we’ve witnessed and look forward to hearing Polar’s next release.