A version of this review is also published in The Journal.
The phenomenal Ilan Rubin left Lostprophets last year to play drums for Trent Reznor on the apparent last ever Nine Inch Nails tour. Lostprophets (picture by Andrew Moore) are now on tour now with their new drummer, Luke Johnson, out to prove to the world that they don’t miss him.
The Welsh six piece play high energy emo-tinged nu-metal, coating each track with a sharp biting guitar overdrive and diet metal drums. Their set includes songs from throughout their decade long career, as well as a cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Omen’. Lead singer Ian Watkins’ voice seems perfectly crafted to sail through the noise without gruffness, without strain, never struggling to hit high notes. Balancing him is synth player Jamie Oliver, whose metal screams add the required aggression when the song requires it. But aggression isn’t this band’s primary motivation. Tunes ‘Rooftops’ and ‘Last Train Home’ not only get the vast Corn Exchange audience pogoing like 70s punks, but prove uplifting and inspiring. Lyrics like “But there's still tomorrow/ Forget the sorrow/ And I can be on the last train home” breath optimism into a genre too often overfilled with depression and negativity.
As the end of the set draws closer, the band are killing time. Throwing bottles of water to a dehydrated and grateful audience, and pouring on the praise as bands always do “You guys are pissing all over Glasgow”, but eventually they get to the point and close the set with the broken beats and staccato guitar riffs of their first major hit ‘Shinobi Vs. Dragon Ninja’. Extended cheering leads to their reappearance, but the encore tune, a song called ‘The Light That Shines Twice As Bright...’ from their January album The Betrayed, is slow, atmospheric and eerie, leaving the audience somewhat bemused by this stylistic sidestep. To come full circle, the song was rather reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails.