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Butcher Babies And Sumo Cyco Take London By Storm

Butcher Babies are a band which have attracted plenty of attention in their relatively short time, garnering both praise and (sometimes unwarranted) criticism. However, they've always been more than willing to fight back and answer the naysayers, particularly in the live setting. Last week in London, the band, joined by Canadian outfit Sumo Cyco, brought their blistering performance to the English capital.

Although I unfortunately missed the majority of the local opener's set, I did arrive with plenty of time to see Sumo Cyco. Having known nothing about the group before watching them, I had the fair position of having no expectations about their performance. However, I am now convinced that I have seen the next big thing, a phrase I have never used before. Sumo Cyco bring a hard rocking take to some very catchy numbers, as well as something of a party atmosphere to a gritty, punk influenced style.

Led by striking frontwoman Skye Sweetnam, the band's music is clearly influenced by hip-hop, without any pretensions like some rap metal acts, including a lack of conventional rapping, as well as a fondness for reggae and funk, to create an alternative metal sound that goes over a treat live. Though some, if not many in the crowd, were seemingly waiting to be impressed when the quartet hit the stage, practically everyone was won over by the high energy performance, which saw Sweetnam entering the crowd (reminiscent of her countrymen Anvil a few days before) and singing one track while sat on the shoulders of guitarist Matt Drake. A strange cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' hit, "Give it Away" was included in a set of originals that created a troop of new fans in a mass conversion not seen since the days of Billy Graham.

Taking to the stage with all the energy and ferocity that they have become known for, Butcher Babies kicked off their heart racing set with "National Bloody Anthem" before launching into their first single, "Blonde Girls All Look the Same," which in turn sent the crowd into a frenzy. Their setlist consisted of plenty of songs from their new album, "Take it Like a Man," including singles, "Monster's Ball" and "Igniter," as well as "Gravemaker," "The Butcher" and "Dead Man Walking," but also saw the group bring out songs from their first EP such as "Jesus Needs More Babies For His War Machine."

Butcher Babies are probably one of the best (relatively) new bands live, with a genuine intensity that beats so many other bands who seem to rely on screaming, "Come on motherfuckers!" Their on stage interaction with the crowd is simply excellent and creates a heartfelt intimacy, something they did brilliantly in this compact venue, but I've also witnessed them do the same on a huge stage such as the Graspop main stage, a feat which so many bands wish they could pull off.

They closed their regular set with their cover of the Napoleon XIV cult classic, "They're Coming To Take Me Away," before returning to perform a string of older material such as "Magnolia BLVD" and "I Smell a Massacre" before finishing with "Axe Wound." Butcher Babies may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they're a real force live and best of all, they're genuine. They believe in what they do and most music fans, particularly metal music, can see that. If you're one of those who doubts the talent these five have, I cannot recomend seeing them live enough, particularly on such a great pairing like this.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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1 Comment on "Butcher Babies Take London By Storm"

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1. Carlos Santos writes:

Nice read. Having read their name, I had never heard them before. So I fixed that and heard "Goliath" and I really liked it, even the melodic parts, which to me had hard rock kind of feeling to them. People see them as nu-metal, but they have more of a Slayer lineage, so to speak. They are fans of The Plasmatics, which means they also love Motorhead, and that's good in my book. Cheers!

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