Being a Canterbury resident for most of the year the news that Feed the Rhino were playing a 40 minute bus ride away was just too tempting for James, so without further ado he picks up the action with second support band, Zoax…
Zoax (8) are the first band Rock Sins are able to catch (sorry Sincerity!) but they offer a fantastic introduction to the night. Their complex, challenging and jazz-tinged hardcore is reward enough for those foregoing the glories of a pre-gig Wetherspoons. There is certainly a case to compare Zoax live to letlive. especially in the ‘wandering frontman’ department, yet this would be doing Zoax frontman Adam Carrol a disservice. Despite the very obvious penchant for both frontmen to take extended trips around the crowd Carrol injects a greater sense of camaraderie, rather than Butler’s unpredictability, into his frontmanship.
Next up, The Howling (5) have the unenviable position of being stuck between Zoax and, of course, Feed the Rhino. Even some of the UK scenes brightest stars would struggle in such a position and The Howling’s tiresome Punk Rock schtick wears thin very quickly. It might be the frankly middle-of-the-road music, the wearing stage banter or the superficial “rock’n’roll” posturing of both guitarists but The Howling just never come across as much more than an annoyance.
Not impressing, however, is one of the few things Feed the Rhino (10) aren’t very good at. By which I mean to say even for someone seeing them the eighth time tonight is still as relentless a showcasing of one of the best live bands in the UK. Tight, polished and utterly precise there is no flab in a Feed the Rhino set. Lee Tobin is the perfect frontman whipping up the pit with a primal fury that is just impossible not to respond to; be it prowling the stage with characteristic wide-eyed intensity or taking a journey into the lighting rig to perform ‘Behind the Pride’ Tobin constantly engages, and commands absolute respect and obedience. It’s certainly a testament to Tobin’s power that the sheer energy levels of the rest of the band can be so overwhelmed. Feed the Rhino are not a band to stand still while their frontman does all the work; each member is constantly in motion enhancing the sense of chaotic energy that Tobin creates. ‘Tides’ is just as explosive and unpredictable as ever while the usual bruisers such as ‘Nothing Left,’ and ‘Flood the System’ get bodies flying into the pit. Overall a “Standard” Feed the Rhino show with nothing less than anyone who has seen them live before would expect.