The darkened skies and torrential rain of a summer’s eve in Huddersfield provide the ideal backdrop for an appointment with The Creepshow. The Canadian horror rockabillies are back in the UK armed with a forthcoming new album – their first since 2013’s Life After Death – and a collection of damp band members.
As the rain persists it’s time to seek to sanctuary in the barn of The Parish where we’re greeted by three dapper bearded men thrashing out some absolute bangers – this would be Nosebleed. The Leeds-natives bring their show off the stage and into the audience and with it a frenetic energy to warm up this somewhat chilly room.
The raw squeals of frontman Elliott Verity are delivered with a panache and presence befitting the winklepickers and braces the trio adorn. Their half-hour set is punch after punch of in-your-face (quite literally) lo-fi garage punk which constantly feels like being one step away from spiralling out of control. It is immersive, mesmerising and quite the marker for the rest of the evening’s entertainment.
Tonight’s headliners are finally enjoying a sense of stable continuity in their career. The Creepshow’s upcoming fifth album Death at My Door – which drops on September 15th – represents the first time they have produced back-to-back albums with the same lead singer. Frontwoman Kenda Legaspi’s arrival in 2012 has added a new dimension to the band and it is evident from the off.
The diminutive Legaspi owns the stage as the rockabillies crash into opener See You In Hell and through a gem from the back catalogue in Demon Lover. Like many of their contemporaries, The Creepshow aim to create a show of fun with Kristian Rowles – quite possibly the happiest person ever to the play the keyboard – imploring a sea of two-steppers and skankers on every song.
New single Sticks & Stones strikes a chord with Legaspi taking on rhythm guitar duty and while the forthcoming material goes down a treat there feels something a little lacking from airings of older tracks. While songs from both Life After Death and Death at My Door are performed flawlessly, Legaspi looks a little uncomfortable delivering the gritty growl of older numbers such Rue Morgue Radio and Creatures of the Night.
However, this is more than made up for by soaring renditions of The Devil’s Son and Born To Lose highlighting the band’s changing sound. With a settled line-up and a new album in the works, this is just the next step in The Creepshow’s evolution.
WORDS: TOM WALSH