Photo credit: Stephen Ackroyd
Marmozets certainly went for quality over quantity with their support acts – there was only one, in the form of Black Peaks, who were given a good 45 minutes to showcase themselves. Black Peaks catered to the heavier tastes of the crowd, and although a mere handful knew them well enough to sing along, the band no doubt left Exeter with a good deal more followers. The crowd quickly warmed to their impressively tight riot of a set which featured a number of riffs to interesting time signatures a la Marmozets themselves. The frontman was a ball of energy, bounding around stage, commanding circle pits and coming into the pit to sing more than once. He switched effortlessly between killer screams and a smooth singing voice, similar to that of Marmozets frontwoman Becca Macintyre herself, although she does not lean so heavily on the screaming in new album Knowing What You Know Now.
This album was the reason for the tour, and if you think (quite rightly) that the recorded version is a knockout then just wait till you get to a gig. Marmozets SLAY live. Their second album is so carefully crafted, so layered that it’s hard to imagine that it would have the same impact in a less-controlled, live setting. But man, did they deliver. It’s hard to choose a set highlight as the music sounds even more incredible in a live setting, especially with fans so energetic that being in the pit feels like a workout. There were circle pits, crowd surfers, grins exchanged with strangers, the lot. The hour-plus set included so many songs from the new album as well as debut The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets that it took some time afterwards to think of what had actually been missed out. The set began and ended on new songs, Habits and Major System Error respectively, showing how popular their new offerings have already become.
While tear-jerker Me And You didn’t feature on the set, which is a shame as it would have perfectly shown off Macintyre’s incredible voice, Insomnia did make a welcome appearance as Marmozets’ only song that is neither a mosh-pit inducer nor a ballad – to see that performed one day with strings as it is on the record would be a dream come true. The band clearly love performing, more specifically performing together: this was especially evident during Lost In Translation when they pogoed around stage in time to the repetitive thrash of the verses. It was the brilliantly bonkers Vibetech that got the biggest applause of the night though.
The band were endlessly thankful for the crowd’s presence, with Macintyre expressing her surprise at the nearly-full venue. Even though the last time they played Exeter was in the considerably larger Great Hall (supporting Muse! What an incredible slot to get!), most of the crowd would not have been there for them. In fact, Macintyre was so happy that she promised to play a two-hour set next time Marmozets are in town. Her bandmates weren’t as enthusiastic, and I’m not sure if my body can survive that long of a mosh-workout, but bring it on.