There was a palpable buzz around The Apex on Saturday night. We arrived early at the invitation of the band and Renegade Twelve fans were visible all-around Charter Square long before the doors were due to open. This band has built up a strong fan base, by a combination of being approachable, unpretentious and damn fine musicians to boot!
By the time doors opened the merch table was doing a fine line in CD’s, T-shirts and lanyards (really must get one of those!).
If you think you know what the archetypical Renegade Twelve fan looks like, be prepared to adjust your perceptions – of course there were black t-shirts, a mosh pit, crowd surfing and ladies strategically aiming their undergarments at the stage. However, the diversity and age range of the fans is what struck me most; young and old, were all there to enjoy a loud, raucous metal night, but I didn’t detect one bit of aggression.
Having recently toured the UK, in support of Tequila Mockingbyrd – this show was all about Renegade Twelve, their own headline show and by far their biggest show to date. Having previously twice sold out their hometown venue, the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket, with its 200 capacity, The Apex head count of 650 brought a completely new even higher-octane vibe to what these guys do.
Those lucky enough to have a ticket were treated to a professionally orchestrated rock show, gradually building up the energy emanating from the support bands, to the climax of Renegade Twelve’s entrance. By the time drummer, Joe Evans took his seat on the darkened stage the 650 strong crowd were baying for their band. Playing their debut album live, the fans knew what was to come, they knew the words, they sang along and were making themselves heard every power chord of the way.
In a previous GrapevineLIVE piece, our reviewer Hayley Goldsmith commented of lead singer, Sam Robson, “…I thought he would be a screamer, but no, this guy can actually sing!” – yep, Hayley, you got that one spot on!
Whilst loud, Renegade Twelve do not rely on volume to entertain. They underpin their sound with melody, lyrics and talent. I have been to gigs where the headline act burst onto stage in an explosion of energy then wind it back to a more manageable level – not so Renegade Twelve, they never slowed down.
Supporting on the night were three quality Suffolk based bands. Lakenheath based Heathen, set the tone as first on stage. Followed by Manic Blackout and Shoot the Glass, both of whom just kept ramping up the energy levels. All three can be found regularly gigging around the county and beyond.
A thoroughly enjoyable night for all concerned. Our preshow interview with the band will be published soon – stay tuned for insights into Norwegian Mongoose pelts and heavy metal tambourine techniques!