Some might dare to describe The Horrors as a bit old hat these days. They’ve been going since 2005 and were particularly popular among the indie fans of the mid-2000’s, but those people now likely have office jobs and a house share in the London commuter belt.
A sold-out performance at London’s KOKO was the final stop on The Horrors’ UK and Ireland tour, and even before they had come on stage the room was packed to the rafters. They’re currently plugging their fifth studio album, aptly titled V, so it wasn’t a huge shock that half the setlist was drawn from that album.
A handful of tracks from their second, third and fourth albums also made the cut, but nothing from their debut. The Horrors have matured; evolved even in the twelve years since Strange House was released, and it simply doesn’t represent the kind of band they are anymore.
Truthfully, the band don’t seem to be as hardcore as they once were. NME used to be littered with articles on how lead singer Faris Badwan treated fans during their concerts. He antagonised his fans, throwing paint on them, scaling the rigging and even resorting to violence. This was what people signed up for though; fans knew exactly what they were getting as they headed in to a gig.
These days Badwan has seemingly calmed down. Perhaps his once erratic behaviour was on account of a drug addiction (hardly surprising in that scene), and now he’s seen the error of his ways. Midway through the set though, he did announce, “push to the front, c’mon, I have no regard for your personal safety.” This instruction largely went ignored— the clientele are vastly different in modern times, older people who are trying to look edgy but have far too many responsibilities to go the whole nine yards, and they’re certainly not the kind of people who jump headfirst in to a pit.