These days, it is a brave move for a fledgling band to undertake their first tour on UK shores, so it is just as well Sick N’ Beautiful is indeed a courageous actd, breaking out of the usual commercial jelly mould to deliver their slick version of grungy alien rock. Having gathered a quintet of underground groups in the form of Kane’d, Lilith and the Knight, Celestivl, Bad Pollyanna and Novacrow for varying dates of the tour, Sick N’ Beautiful have embarked on an 11-date headliner tour in order to spread the extraterrestrial love, and publicise their new album The Element of Sex, coming June 29 (review coming soon…). I went to offer myself for abduction at The 1865 in Southampton, to see what these extra-terrestrial exhibitionists and their support bands had in store for us. (Be sure to also check out our recent interview with drummer Evey here.)
First onstage for the otherworldly circus was Lilith and the Knight with their hard-hitting anthems dedicated to the human condition and the ongoing pillaging of Earth’s finite resources; influenced by such diverse bands as The Beatles, System of a Down and Black Sabbath. Singer Lilith and her trio fill the venue with energy, their visual drama of leather and tattoos adding even more punch to their already thunderous stage show. With the limited audience having enjoyed the first act immensely, it was time for the unique Kane’d to take the helm next. With their unusual set up of three vocalist sisters and four other band members, they filled the already ample stage of The 1865 and enthralled the attending public with their punchy rock riffs à la Girlschool and feisty frontwomen who emanated attitude in hot pants, vests and fishnets.
After the two energetic openers, it was time for the aliens to cast their traction beams onto the audience of believers and abduct us good and proper. Coming onto the stage with their “March of the Scolopendra” intro from their first album Hell Over Hell, Sick N’ Beautiful fire straight into “Fire True”, the first track of their new release. They cycle through their set-list with aplomb, with new songs such as “Megalomaniacal” and “Heart December”, to older more well-known classics like “Sick to the Bone” and their revised version of “New Witch 666”, before closing on a fabulous and apt cover of Katy Perry’s “E.T.”. This band is simply spectacular live, with influences ranging from Lady Gaga, KISS, and Alice Cooper ringing true throughout the circus show.
Speaking of the above-mentioned bands – frequent costume changes and prop usage from frontwoman Herma form an integral part of the show. The group engage with fireworks, laser trickery and power tools. Yes, you did indeed read correctly – one highlight of the stunning stage theatrics features a fantastic set piece with Herma wielding an illuminated guitar and an electric grinder during another of the new songs, “Slam!”.
Watch Sick N’ Beautiful’s “Megalomaniacal” video because we say so!
And this point leads me to the crux of this review – it is an outrage that an act as polished and accomplished as Sick N’ Beautiful live, are not gaining the audience they deserve. There are so many great unknown bands out there – Kane’d and Lilith to name a couple in addition – that are not getting the attention they deserve. Regardless of from where the problems stem, it is imperative that we as music fans cannot let club shows like this die out. So, whether it’s Sick N’ Beautiful or another worthy group, we should all go out and support live music.
Sick N’ Beautiful’s Setlist:
01. Fire True
02. Radio Siren
04. All Wanna Go to Heaven
05. Sick to the Bone
09. Heart December
10. New Witch 666 (The Rising) Encore:
11. E.T. (Katy Perry cover)
12. Makin’ Angels