Creeper @ La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, 25 Mar

Creeper celebrate a decade of constant reinvention with an incredible career-spanning set in Edinburgh, as part of their 12 Days Of Night Tour

Live Review by Chris Sneddon | 27 Mar 2024
  • Creeper at La Belle Angele

It feels like an age since Creeper first announced The 12 Days Of Night Tour – a series of intimate gigs to celebrate the resounding success of their third studio album, Sanguivore – but, finally, Southampton’s undead punks return to Edinburgh to cast their evil shroud over the city’s gothic skyline.

Creeper’s approach is to curate every aspect of their style and aesthetic, and it’s immediately apparent that this extends to their choice of support. NAUT soften up the crowd with bruising classic rock and metal-infused post-punk (listen to Dissent), whilst the mysterious duo Zetra – dressed in full black metal attire – conjure blackened synth-pop and shoegaze from beyond the veil (listen to Call Of The Void).

After a teasing light show, Creeper storm the stage – clad in leather, daubed in undead make-up, and dripping with alternative chic – whipping the audience into a frenzy with Cry To Heaven, the debut single from Sanguivore. It’s an over-the-top heavy metal banger with a performance to match: a mic-swinging, solo-ripping, sing-your-heart-out monster. And there’s no rest for the wicked as the band launch straight into Poison Pens from debut album Eternity, In Your Arms – a mosh pit kindler if ever there was one. It's proof that, despite Creeper’s propensity for reinventing themselves across each album, their horror punk classics still sound great alongside their latest collection of hits.

As the chants of “here we, here we, here we fucking go” reverberate around La Belle Angele, Creeper power through a set list rammed with cathartic sing-a-long moments to satiate the ravenous crowd. Sanguivore's Lovers Led Astray is followed by Hiding With Boys from Eternity, In Your Arms, and both go down a treat before Cyanide from Sex, Death & The Infinite Void blows the roof off with lavish cursed-pop melodies, an instantly iconic chorus of “she’s my cyanide, I drink her every night”, and one of guitarist Ian Miles’ slickest solos. 

Bookended by a pair of raucous punk and heavy metal bangers (Napalm Girls & Teenage Sacrifice), The Ballad Of Spook & Mercy allows singer Will Gould to show off his enviable vocal talent with the delivery of a spinetingling baritone. It’s one of a few quieter songs that cast a spell over the crowd who sing back every word – not least on Crickets, which alongside (the very Ghost) Ghosts Over Calvary, gives keyboardist/vocalist Hannah Greenwood centre stage, and her voice is jaw-dropping.

The set rattles towards its conclusion with a coordinated sing-a-long to Down Below, a mass bop to Chapel Gates, and enthused shouts of “Let’s get hexed!” to The Honeymoon Suite from The Callous Heart EP. There's a collective swoon at the utter brilliance of Annabelle (“Aah-aah- aah / God can’t save us!”) and the overwhelming emotional experience of I Choose To Live, an absolute tearjerker from the American Noir EP.

If the night had ended there, it would have been a triumph, but it’s not over. The lights stay down, and as the chants of “one more tune” grow louder, Creeper return to the stage and launch into the epic Meat Loaf / Alice Cooper worship of Further Than Forever. It shows just how far the band have come in their decade together, from scrappy punk rock to bombastic, progressive heavy metal. The final song is Misery (in name only), and the crowd sing every single word, the band even dropping out entirely for an audience a cappella. It’s a stunning ending to an incredible, career-spanning set from one of the best live bands out there, and its lyrics ring true: “Misery never goes out of style”.