Chaos. Total and utter chaos. That is what unfolds tonight at Deaf (an absolutely apt name for a venue where this band is concerned, sweet Jesus it’s LOUD tonight), the mayhem orchestrated by Daughters’ extraordinary frontman Alexis S.F. Marshall who is quite unlike anyone I’ve seen perform. An absolute whirling dervish of a man, a man whose intensity is matched only by his wilful disregard for his or his audience’s safety, a man who thrives on making people uncomfortable and who is absolutely one of the best frontmen I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes.

At any one point throughout this beast of a show he’s clambering over and through the crowd to the back of Deaf’s tiered seating; strutting the length of the bar to sing into the faces of an unsuspecting couple; clambering onto the tiny balcony and dangling his mic into the crowd below for them to holler and scream his lyrics back at him; clawing at his own bare chest, drawing blood as he stands a top of the stage monitors, looking into the middle distance as the claret runs down his sweating torso; pulling at his own hair, ripping shards out which makes me wince and worry if we should be spellbound by these kinds of actions; parading the crowd on the shoulders of a fucked up, star struck fan; spitting into his palm and letting it drip down his own face as he swallows the mic head whole; stage diving and grabbing fans faces as they grab him back, trying to be a slice of the disorder he’s creating. It’s altogether terrifying, mesmerising, and absolutely thrilling to watch.

And all this whilst the band behind him make the absolute unholiest of hardcore noise for him to add his Nick Cave by the way of the devil growl to their thunderous cacophony of sound. Honestly, it’s like nothing I’ve heard before, you can feel the sound hitting you, lord knows what it’s doing to the kids with no ear plugs in (I’m so glad I have mine on me), it’s extraordinary how they are creating the grinding, churning, thrilling noise of songs from their brilliant comeback album You Won’t Get What You Want. Opener ‘The Reason They Hate Me’ is all industrial and metallic, and the queasy ‘Satan In The Wait’, where Marshall menacingly stares into our eyes (souls?!) and tells us “this world…is opening up”, basically threatening that his band will actually open the depths of hell below us to swallow us all up – on this form I wouldn’t put it past them.

There’s barely any respite at all, just track after track of searing intensity. There’s the short sharp burst of ‘The Lords Song’, the screamo songs from their 2010 self titled LP like ‘The Hit’ and ‘The Virgin’ which let the hardcore fans scream into each other’s and Marshall’s faces, here’s Marshall shedding his clothes as his suit jacket and shirt become surplus to this intoxicating feral lounge lizard’s requirements, and then the highlight of the night, sung from his elevated position at the back of the room, hands down pants, a dirty, sexy weirdo singing ‘Less Sex’, “I let it into my bed/I gave it complete control/Led a long way down”, as the band put down an electrifying noise groove, the whole room a heaving, sweaty mess. There’s an abrupt end, an exhilarated, exhausted crowd finally finished with their moshing, looking at each other wondering what the fuck they’ve just been party to, the chaos subsiding as we make our way back to a world with more rules and social requirements, a world far away from the anarchy of Alexis S.F. Marshall’s orbit. Everything today seems a bit dull, a bit run of the mill. But I’m glad I don’t have to go through that again, I don’t think my brain could take it.

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