Creeper are building something. From the off they’ve been a band with a clear vision and since the release of ‘The Callous Heart’ they’ve been revealing it, piece by piece. Up close the weaving narratives, their open-door policy and the beckoning call of academies, arenas and beyond seem jarring. Surely something’s got to give. However tonight at The Underworld, Creeper finally have the space to step back and show off their creation. For the first time, all the pieces come together.
From the opening hammer of ‘VCR’, the band holds the capacity crowd on a knife-edge. The twitching call-to-arms of ‘Black Mass’ sees fists and voices raised while ‘Honeymoon Suite’ drags the few remaining stragglers into the party.
Starting with three of their most celebrated tracks is a bold move for a band taking to their biggest headline show yet but it instantly creates that sense of familiarity that Creeper thrive on. From here on out, the somber reflection of ‘Misery’, the chiming fury of ‘Astral Projection’ and the sheer heartbreak of ‘Henley’s Ghost’ incite the same white-knuckled reaction. Moments of beauty quickly turn into ecstatic chaos but the room twists as one.
The usually gushing Will Gould keeps the chat to a minimum throughout. There’s every chance he’s also caught up in the runaway momentum of the evening but it’s more likely a result of the newfound comfort within Creeper. The band is more fluid, more playful and finally seems at home being the center of attention. There’s no need to explain how important tonight is when everyone in the room feels it too.
An unscripted encore -“After all you’ve given us, how can we say no?” – of ‘We Had A Pact’ and ‘Novena’ sees the evening end just as it began, with fists and voices rising in unison as Creeper stand atop their lovingly crafted creation.
“A lot of people think this is an act but this is not an act,” Will declares and he’s right. There’s a whole-hearted honesty in everything Creeper do and tonight it becomes visible. We all know the only way is up and this show is the model for whatever comes next. Misery never goes out of style because Creeper is not a fashion statement; it’s a deathwish to expectation.