SOiL - LIVE: Koko, London 2015

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Coal Chamber's Rivals Tour
May 31 (20:20 - 20:50)
Capacity 1500

Still touring their 2013 release Whole, American hard rock band SOiL once again return to the UK, this time with '90s American metal sensations Dope and Coal Chamber.

It's now three years since SOiL so much as co-headlined a tour in the UK, preferring support tours to gain exposure more often than not, so it's easy to understand why around half the crowd of the sold out Koko are wearing SOiL t-shirts and not those of headliners Coal Chamber - their fans are feeling starved of shows. Although the main attraction tonight is the first London show of the newly reformed Coal Chamber, last playing London roughly 13 years ago, the attitude towards the support acts tonight is simply that of a level playing field. With long time American hard rockers Dope performing in London for the first time ever, London based metallers The Defiled showcasing songs off their upcoming EP all dominating discussion equally, the level of talent and competition is high.

Despite the competition, SOiL walk into a room that is not only at full capacity, but one that is chanting the bands name in ecstasy. With what seems like everyone on the ground floor crowding to the front, the opening to Loaded Gun comes blasting through and the crowd instantly transforms into the chaos that defines both floor and stage for the remainder of the night. With a setlist that mostly presents their hits such as Halo, Unreal and the ever-present cover of Ram Jam's Black Betty to conclude the set, SOiL have the audience at their feet and show why this band is held in such high esteem.

However, returning once again as 'special guests' rather than a headline band does restrict the band tremendously. With only a limited set time and a large amount of bands on the bill, the performance by the band in some areas unfortunately appears rushed. With little crowd interaction between songs other than a short speech about the importance of life and a recent band accident, the band ploughs through the nine-song set with little time to inject any band personality to shine through. Limited time also forces them to only include the fan favourites from each album, so the setlist lacks the diversity that more die-hard fans seek. With half the set replicating the one from their previous UK tour no less than a year before, SOiL are put in a position that although caters to new fans of the band, doesn't really give anything interesting to long time listeners.

Although SOiL are placed in a compromising situation, there is no doubt the band did the best they could do. For this last night of the tour, the band play a tremendous set that will satisfy old and new fans alike in terms of performance without question. Despite the few areas of improvement that need to be made, the placement of the band on the bill could arguably be held responsible for those, and there is no doubt that SOiL are as great as ever.

“ show why this band is held in such high esteem ”

Setlist: Loaded Gun / Breaking Me Down / The Hate Song / My Own / Pride / Define / Unreal / Halo / Black Betty

Written by Ellis Davis
More: 2015, Alternative, Gigs,

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