Polar @ Manchester Sound Control 10/3/14 ★★★★☆

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Following the bands second album release ‘Shadowed By Vultures’ the British hardcore-punk/metalcore outfit Polar are reaching the end of their UK tour and after an interview with the band, it was time to see if their live performances could stand up for itself and push themselves away from the ‘run of the mill average metalcore/hardcore-punk band’ category and into the ‘select few bands that have something special to offer’ category. So will Polar stand out as something special? A simple answer, yes.

Throughout the opening acts, the members of Polar aren’t upstairs or out the back drinking ahead of their set, they’re out front, meeting their fans and trying to sell their merch. For a band like Polar, merch is massively important so that they can survive as a band on tour, and thankfully, there are kids coming down picking up hard copies of their CD and buying a t-shirt before the set. The attitude they show towards their fans and support acts speaks volume about them before they even step onto the stage, but with the final support band finishing up, a delicate instrumental fills the room, and Polar take to the stage.

Vocalist Adam Woodford (Woody) shouts, “What’s up Manchester? We’re Polar, let’s do this shit!” and like that, the room is hit with a ferocious sound (Blood Lines) that the Surrey five piece produce. And with the small ‘Sound Control’ stage only big enough to fit four of the members whilst they jump around and head bang, Woody takes to the floor along with the diehard twenty or so fans that are right up close and personal with the band.

The beginning of the set is a little shaky, with levels not quite perfect, and the band content on calling for the rest of the crowd at the back to move closer (as the room is looking disappointingly empty), but as the band seem to grasp the crowd’s attention a little more with their second song (Glass Cutter), but still with something lacking, he orders “Manchester, you need to wake the f**k up! When this drops, I wanna see you jumping!”

After failed attempts to start a circle pit, it’s not until their fifth song in the set (Mountain Throne) that all their levels seem to be sorted out and Polar find that ground shaking punk, metalcore sound they need to really get this eighty or so enthused fans going. The constant demands from the band and the sheer energy from the songs, really does get the crowd moving. The chemistry onstage between the band shows that they are five guys who love to play their music live, which is why the small number of people doesn’t shake the band completely, although the room isn’t full, there are still people there to see them and they are giving it their all for them. The appreciation is clear as Woody shows his gratitude, “merch is how bands survive. We dedicate this song to everyone in the room, thank you very much. We can’t do this without you.”

As the band drops into what is the end of the set (Create & Tonight Matthew I Am Batman) Woody asks for the crowd to surround him, and to sway their arms. In unison the crowd does as is instructed before jumping up and down as one with Woody, almost acting as part of the crowd himself. As the final song approaches (H.E.L.L) Woody asks for one last thing from the crowd. “I have one last thing to ask of you, sit down. And when this drops, get the f**k up” and as the crowd has done throughout their set, they do exactly as commanded for one last intense mosh pit.

Polar serve up a fantastic set of energetic hardcore-punk/metalcore songs from their catalogue of songs, but the amount of people at the show is definitely not what the band deserves. With a great bunch of songs and the enthusiasm Polar show, they certainly deserve to be playing to sold out shows across the UK, their lyric ‘we stand alone’ may not be entirely true, as the faithful fans have come down and shown great support for a well-deserved band, but the support shown should undoubtedly be more than double. Polar create a sound which seriously hits you hard from the off so grab a ticket next time they’re out because they deserve much more than what they’ve got so far.