Caroline Jones

14:33 13th December 2006

“Every band who played here tonight is British,” screams Ian Watkins from the front of the stage. And it is something to shout about – tonight’s support line-up is pretty impressive. The Blackout have decided to bring Christmas indoors and pimped up their drum kit with fairy lights. “I know, I know they look impressive and expensive,” singer Sean Smith tells an amused crowd. “They only cost three quid.” But the fairy lights are the only cheap thing about their performance, which is tight and fully appreciated by their burgeoning fan base.

An impressive roar goes up as Bring Me The Horizon’s drummer Matt Nicholls takes to the stage in his obscenely small red shorts but it’s a roar that’s got nothing on the sound that comes out of lead singer Oli Sykes’s mouth. Mix into the equation a few stage dives, somersaults and a well-orchestrated wall of death (he parts the crowd and gets them to run at each other ‘Braveheart’-style) and you can see why there’s so much hype surrounding Bring Me The Horizon’s live performances.

It’s sometimes still easy to forget just how big a band Lostprophets are, but witnessing the stampede at 7.01pm as the doors open, the sheer volume of merch walking around and deafening screams that greet opener ‘New Transmission’ it’s suddenly obvious why their album went in at number one earlier this year. Call it pop, call it rock, when their fans are having this much fun, they really couldn’t care. With their main support act pulling out of the tour only a couple of weeks before it kicked off, Lostprophets said they’d play for longer and they’re true to their word, laying into an-hour-and-a-half setlist including a surprise cover of The Jam’s ‘Going Underground’ – a nod to their punk roots and perhaps the direction of their fourth album.

The band play as sharply as they dress and old and new favourites ‘Rooftops’, ‘Last Train Home’, ‘Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja’ and closer ‘Burn, Burn’ whip Hammersmith up, front to back, side to side, seats to standing. “The next time we see you London will be at Wembley,” says Watkins. “How the fuck did that happen eh?” We know exactly how that happened.

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