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Feature: No More “Bring Me the Hair-straighteners”

While flicking through numerous TV channels over the long summer holidays, something caught my eye. It was on BBC Three’s dire coverage of Reading  + Leeds 2013; they were showing coverage of Bring Me The Horizon’s live set at Reading.

Why would this catch my eye you may ask? Well, Bring Me The Horizon have always seemed to be one of these bands people love to hate. They have been bottled at Reading and Leeds before, heckled during their support of Welsh rockers Bullet For My Valentine and are subject to abuse by trolls on pretty much all of their videos on Youtube. But now they were on the Reading and Leeds coverage with a crowd singing every word back instead of exchanging bottles filled with fluids.

Locally, the jump in Bring Me’s popularity can be seen with their two dates headlining Academy One (with support from Pierce the Veil); when I first saw them in Manchester three years ago, they were only playing one date at the Club Academy.

Their album, Sempiternal, which was released earlier this year led the band in a completely different direction and suddenly, they have had increasing airplay on Radio 1 and with it their fan base has grown. Having reviewed the album for The Mancunion and giving it five stars, the point of this piece is not to detract from a great album, but to point out it’s by no means their best.

As you can probably guess, I am a BMTH fan. I have been a fan since [2006’s] Count Your Blessings and have seen them numerous times (six, to be exact). Maybe because of this, I am cynical to these “new fans” or maybe it’s just me being a snob; for years, I suffered through the jokes of “Bring Me The Hairspray/Hair-straighteners” and “Oh why don’t you listen to proper metal like Judas Priest/Iron Maiden etc.” But now these are the people telling me “You really gotta listen to this album! Bring Me are amazing”.

That doesn’t bother me as much as those who suddenly make a band their new favourite because they’ve only heard the latest release. In this instance, give these a copy of Count Your Blessings and they’d turn their nose up at it due to its different musical direction (being deathcore not metalcore).

A change in musical direction introduces a major problem. Those fans that made you and stuck by you through all the shit can be alienated because of your live shows. For many fans, Bring Me set-lists have lost their past with no songs from [2006’s] Count Your Blessings and [2004’s] This Is What the Edge of Your Seat Was Made For having made the final cut. Yet, we still hope that one day see ‘Pray for Plagues’ or ‘I Used to Make Out With Medusa’ will make a comeback on the tour and that you won’t cut songs from Suicide Season disappear too.

It is great that a band I supported through thick and thin and argued their musical credibility are on the rise. Just don’t forget those older fans. Also, if anyone thinks I’m still wrong regarding BMTH, I’m more than up for another argument.

Tags: Bring Me The Horizon, count your blessings, leeds, Reading

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