6 Feb 2023
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  • Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves & Coridian @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 3/06/2022

Written By Wolves - Gig Review: Written By Wolves & Coridian @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 3/06/2022

03 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

When I was told a few weeks back that Written By Wolves and Coridian were doing another fundraiser for Dead Witch I was blown away, as the same gig last year was my #1 for 2022, and in my Top 10 of all time. I arrived early to ensure I could grab one of the limited-edition t-shirts (only 50, and only being sold here tonight) and was fortunate enough to catch the boys before the soundcheck and then stayed for that as well. The energy coming off the stage was incredible, and they were the only ones here! If it was like that for the soundcheck what on earth was it going to be like for the gig. The guys had also extended the stage to give a bit more room for everyone (it was a little tight last time), the first time I had seen it done at Dead Witch and it certainly made a difference. There was a real buzz about the place tonight – with people even coming from out of town as it was the first time WBW had played in more than a year, and the first time Coridian were playing since July when they supported Shepherds Reign so they were all busting to gig, and everyone knew it would be very special indeed.

When the doors opened it really did feel like we were back in time as the gorgeous Lauren Kate was in the DJ booth again, getting everyone in the right mood, just as she did last year. The place was packed and pumping when Coridian made their way to the stage in darkness and kicked off with Endless War. This is one of their more atmospheric numbers at the beginning but is a real builder with the Raven brothers locked in as only those who have played together their whole lives can do, and then of course there is Dity, the perfect foil. There was no sign at all of stage rustiness as immediately it was if they had never been away. They have been in the studio working towards the album (hopefully out towards the end of the year), but there is no substitute for playing live yet one would never guess it had been nearly a year since the last show.

The guys were just getting warmed up in the first number, and Rite of Passage saw them taking it to a whole new level. Kris was providing lots of different rhythms and accents at the back; Nick was locked in tight and keeping it all structured while Mike was throwing shapes and riffs. Then of course there is Dity, suave, sophisticated, and one of the best singers and frontmen around. He can be bouncing along like a lunatic, yet somehow, he hits all the notes with a wonderful clear sound. They slowed it right down with Good For Nothing, and Bailey was ensuring the atmosphere was being captured with full use of the lighting system, turning it up when it was time for the band to go nuts and pulling back when they slowed it down. I have been fortunate enough to have seen most of Coridian’s shows over the last couple of years and tonight they were the most polished I had ever seen them. They may not have been gigging recently, but they have loads of experience behind them, and soon settled into the familiar pattern of three guys kicking up a storm and the other riding it to its conclusion.

After a few belters they went into a cover version which I now think of as their song as they take it to a whole new level, Wicked Game. How Dity hits those notes when they explode in the chorus is beyond me, while Kris is the driving force in this number, never resting and throwing in loads of different pattens while Mike and Nick slow it down, keep it gentle, or explode with force when the time is right. It is an epic song of many sections which in their hands is a rock masterpiece - move over Chris Isaak. By now they were right in the groove, and Better Off was a monster with a beat which meant the body just had to move, there was no choice. The guys were making full use of the additional space provided with the stage extension, Dity jumping at every opportunity, Nick as solid as a rock while Mike kept throwing shapes as if his life depended on it. Their set ended with Seed, another emotional builder that really shows the strengths of Coridian, truly one of the best live bands around. Welcome back guys!!

Lauren Kate was back on the decks, even playing Sophie by her band The Not Okays (check it out if you haven’t heard as it is simply superb) but soon it was time for the main event featuring Mikey, Davie, Bahador, Karl and Oli.

The intro saw the band kicking off in darkness, with backing tracks of held-down synths, before Oli and Karl started a drum fest. Bahador and Davie stood with their backs to the crowd, Oli climbed up on top of his keyboards, the boys turned around, suddenly Mikey was there and we were off as they blasted into Give ‘Em Hell. Whatever intensity there had been previously had just been taken off the charts. Within the first few minutes Mikey was stood on the bar, singing into the audience, with everyone involved (and people with their phones out capturing the moment). By now the band were at full speed but still with the accelerator to the floor, showing they are a metal band, a melodic rock band, a dance act, all rolled into one and when they get going there is no-one who can match their energy or intent.

It was one heck of an opening statement and Let It Burn continued in the same fashion with all the crowd in motion, and everyone on the stage attempting to outdo each other while also somehow keeping it incredibly tight. Mikey asked if everyone was ready to jump, and then we were into Tell Me What You’re Running From, a song with plenty of dynamics and harmony vocals, softer sections which everyone knows is just setting us up for the explosion with Karl and Oli driving it from the back while the twin guitars of Davie and Bahador crunch it out, and then there is Mikey. During this song he got down on the floor and had the audience all do the same thing before exploding up into the air. Two songs in and I was already worried for the structural integrity of the building as WBW in an environment is like a deadly weapon, ready to take down the walls.

It seemed like they were already cranking up, with the crunch on Papercut just immense. Everyone knows the words to this, and it was impossible not to join in and move! The boys are incredibly melodic, yet the intensity and the metallic mayhem they create is unmatched. From there they went into Oh No! and I basically lost it, totally wrapped in the car crash of sound and intensity which took me to another place and time. It actually took me a while to realise I was supposed to be capturing this in words, but was already failing miserably.

Mike was back on the bar for Better Luck Next Time, and somehow the band were turning it up even more. I thought it was special last year, but by now (as you will have seen) I had totally run out of words to try and describe what was happening in front of me. As Mikey sang in the song, “All is futile”, but then the band took it in a different direction with an instrumental led by the twin drums of Karl and Oli. Years ago, I saw the Japanese drum outfit Kodo, and this was definitely reminiscent of that. Mikey had again given up on the stage and was now in with the audience as they launched into Not Afraid To Die only making it back with the guys in time for the chorus. The intensity had dropped a little for this, giving the band and audience a slight breather, allowing everyone to recover and ensure the dynamics meant the band could come back heavier again in a minute. That they did with Follow Me, a song guaranteed to get everyone jumping up and down and testing the floor (which is the ceiling of the bar beneath, probably not a safe place to be tonight).

Secrets is one of the most important songs written, dealing with the subject of mental health, and even though it is a dark subject, tonight it was a triumph. Telling a truth, keeping it gentle in the verse, then ripping it up in the chorus. Mikey was again on the bar, bringing those at the back along for the ride. At the end Mikey led everyone in cheering for Ding Dong, reminding them that tonight was all about them, all about supporting the venue after two years of hell. From there we went into the gentler To Tell You The Truth, with the audience joining in on the chorus, but of course this is a song which starts soft and heavily ramps up, and soon the intensity levels were again off the scale.

We were getting near the end now, but no-one was slowing down, and everyone sang along to Elastic Heart. The wolfpack were as one, a big metallic family sharing a very special night indeed. We needed to end the night on another energy blast, and we got that with Genius, and all the crowd singing, dancing, moving as if the night had just begun.

Mikey said they knew there was no way they would be allowed out of the venue without playing an emo song, so they ended with My Chemical Romance’s I Don’t Love You, the perfect end to a perfect night. If tonight’s bands were like this having not played in forever, what are they going to be like when they’re practiced? Written By Wolves will soon be on tour with (Blindspott} while Coridian will also be doing a national tour before they come back together at the incredible Third Time Lucky gig at Tuning Fork in November. Miss them at your peril.


Photos thanks and courtesy to Chris Morgan / Morgan Creative and Ginelle Cocks / Ginny C Photography
View the full Coridian photo galleries here and here
View the full Written by Wolves photo galleries here and here
Massive respect to Ding Dong Lounge for all their support of Muzic.net.nz over the years.

 

About Written By Wolves

Written By Wolves are a fresh and progressive, cinematic rock band and one of the most exciting new rock acts to come from New Zealand in recent years.

Having announced themselves on the world stage with their debut release, Secrets in 2019 they then combined with some of the biggest names in Rock Music in 2021 to release The Collab Project, an EP and mental health initiative aimed at giving their fans, friends and followers a platform to talk about their mental health and a reminder that no matter what they are going through they do not have to do it alone. Featuring Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D, Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens, Trenton Woodley of Hands Like Houses and Sydney Rae White of The Wild Things, the EP has received critical acclaim, millions of streams and has delighted fans world wide.

Renowned for their highly energetic live show, the band have already shared the stage with international heavyweights such as Machine Gun Kelly, Limp Bizkit, Pendulum, Sublime With Rome, Suicidal Tendencies, Hed PE, Falling In Reverse, Escape The Fate, We The Kings, Four Year Strong, Stevie Stone, Kehlani and have recently completed back-to-back tours with two of New Zealand’s biggest Rock bands - Devilskin and Blindspott.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Written By Wolves

Releases

The Collab Project // Secrets
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Secrets
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Prologue
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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