Live Review

Live Review: Employed To Serve @ Bodega, Nottingham 08/03/20

A night at the Hardcore show? Why wouldn’t you.

Amidst the health scare I thought it best to go down to one of Nottingham’s sweatiest rooms and throw myself around with 200 other punks stupidly wearing long sleeved sweaters – and it was totally worth it.

It’s always fun seeing gigs in Nottingham but it made it especially exciting seeing the sheer number of women in the crowd the other night. Employed To Serve have always been a symbol of positive change in hardcore, but this show was everything I want from heavy music – a safe space where everyone can coexist.  There are a lot of metal bands championing safe spaces right now, and to see their hard work being represented within the crowd means everything to me. Now, onto the show. 


The lineup of this gig was stacked, and clearly those booking it have gone out of their way to find excellent young British talent, starting with Cruelty. In what would have probably been the bands biggest ever show a week ago, they did a brilliant job and had a great stage presence. Cruelty play viscious metallic hardcore and although they need a little more work before they can match their recorded quality, they were great to watch. Hopefully this support slot will get more people checking out Cruelty, more people at their gigs and the chance to really hone their performing. 6/10

Palm Reader

Palm Reader are somewhat veterans of support slots and small venues now: they play every single gig with the intent of it being their best one yet – and it always is. Somehow, every time I see Palm Reader they get better, they get tighter and they become more of a treat. They’ve got one of the best discographies of any of their scene mates, Palm Reader are raw, technical, atmospheric and complex, they make you want to punch everyone and cry. They’re on of the most forward thinking bands in hardcore.

Obviously Palm Reader were briliant, they always are. Whn their new album comes out this year, hype it up because it’s going to be brilliant and they deserve the world shouting about them. 8.5/10

Employed To Serve

MNN has become an Employed To Serve fan club over the years, and that’s because they are the best metal band in Britain right now. Their acheivements are numerous, they’re one of the few heavy bands creeping up festival lineups and they do it while writing some of the best metal and hardcore records I’ve heard in years.

ETS are touring off the back of Eternal Forward Motion, an album with face-cracking stomp, groove and power, in the live scene that makes for chaos. Songs like ‘Force Fed’ and ‘Eternal Forward Motion’ are far too big for venues like the Bodega and the band are so refined that sound just erupts from the speakers.

The setlist was varied, reminding you how legendary Employed To Serve’s back catalogue is, the chorus on ‘I Spend My Days’ hit louder than ever and the recklessness of ‘Good For Nothing’ got crowds just as riled up as three years ago. Employed To Serve are no strangers to Nottingham, and certainly no strangers to the Bodega and they tore it apart becuase they are – like I said – the best metal band in the country. This band are savage, they’re heavy as hell and they embody everything that makes hardcore great. Never stop supporting Employed To Serve and they’ll never let you down. 9/10

You should definitely catchy Employed To Serve on this tour, even if you haven’t checked them out before. If you’re a fan of heavy music, there will be something in there for you.


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