Falling Out of Love with your Favourite Band featuring Sikth @ G2, Glasgow
I used to love Sikth. They were, without any close competition, my favourite heavy band. I listened to a lot of really dubious metal music before I discovered Sikth in 2006.
Typically, of course, I discovered my favourite band about a year before they broke up...and didn’t get to see them live the first time around. But luckily, surfing a nostalgia wave on sacks of reunion cash, the band got back together in 2014 to play some incredible shows.
And good on them. This band were light years ahead of their time if they could come back and play some truly amazing shows to a larger fanbase and make a bit of money off it why not? This band slugged away hard in the early 00’s when no one cared about rock music in the UK. The quality of their music and their influence deserved a bit of recognition.
But once you start to sully that legacy with a new EP which sounds like substandard b-sides from your second record and then you lose one of the unique singers that define your sound and then you release a really, really bland record...it’s hard to pretend I’m as enthusiastic about my relationship with Sikth as I once was.
Just prior to the release of the aforementioned bland record (seriously, never listen to it) I was privileged enough to get the chance to photograph the band supporting Trivium (whose new record is incredible by the way) at the legendary Barrowlands in Glasgow. I didn’t like the lineup change. I didn’t like the new single. But they were still my favourite band.
I didn’t like that show. Not even a little bit. The fire and intensity that burned so bright within this band, and fueled my love for their peerless music...it was at best a flickering candle in a large empty room. It was kinda like when you meet someone you used to really fancy in high school in the real world and realisin that some people truly peak in school.
With the love light a little dimmer in my eyes, I wasn’t sure how I felt about going to see Sikth again. But the songs on that first EP and first two LPs still mean the world to me...I couldn’t avoid going to this show. Just in case that spark between us was still there...
And I was...surprised. By a few things.
Firstly, by the fact the few new songs they opened the set with were even duller live than on record. An achievement, albeit one not worth shouting about. As for the rest of the set, parts of it were oddly sloppy. For a band renowned for the technicality of their compositions that’s more than a little disappointing.
The rest of the set though was incredible. Playing almost all of their fantastic second record ‘Death of a Dead Day’, in order, in an intimate venue with no barrier...this had all the foundations of an unforgettable show. For a lot of the night I was transported back to those 2014 reunion shows and sitting in my room in 2006, my jaw on the floor in awe.
Those songs have a life of their own. They’re magical and they put most other heavy bands to shame.
That being said...the line-up change has robbed this band of some of their identity. The fact this show was downsized due to a lack of sales shows that momentum of the reunion has been slowed by their newer material. ¾ of this set is from an album released in 2006 for a reason. Sikth aren’t the band they once were. And my taste in music isn’t as forgiving as it once was.
And that is largely due to Sikth. Had I not discovered this band, and a whole new world of challenging and eclectic heavy music through them, my music taste wouldn’t have evolved and I wouldn’t scrutinise bands like I do. This band gave me a passion for this kind of music that now has me spending my evenings shooting bands. Which is a wonderful position to be in. Sikth's music influenced me in more ways than what I listen to on Spotify.
The reality is, I can’t forget what I once knew and Sikth aren’t the band I once knew. They've lost the chance to bow out and preserve their legacy like The Dillinger Escape Plan are set to and they haven't come back and aged gracefully like Refused or Faith No More. And that makes me sad.
So I think it’s best that me and Sikth remain fond acquaintances now and remember the good times. I wish them all the best, it isn't for me to second guess their desires or intentions with their reformation, but I'm pretty certain we're in different paths now. At least we'll always have playlists ( and sweet vinyl re-issues. Obviously.)
It's time I left the unquestioning love and adoration to someone else. Someone younger possibly. Or less of an ego and a need to spout their opinion on the internet. Obviously not someone less handsome though.