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Exile (Tiki Bar), Plymouth
Friday 3rd April 2015

jools green

Jools Green: Photos by Sam 'Hagrid' McDowall


It was my first visit to Exile (Tiki Bar) and although I knew it was a small venue, I hadn't realised just how small. It's a very compact and intimate basement space with a comfortable capacity of about sixty or so and because of the low ceiling there was no actual stage but the acoustics were pretty good and that is the important factor.

For this particular and possibly unique leg of Xerath's first headline tour an interesting and eclectic mix of local support bands were assembled, all well used to this type of intimate style of venue and starting the evening off were Plymouth based technical/melodic death Metal five piece The Florentine Camerata who always bring a loyal following and got the evening started well.

Currently working on a new release, their set included their 2014 single, 'A Hyperfine Structure', 'Servile', 'Dragons Creation' and a track allegedly about a very naughty priest, 'The Crystal Methodist'.

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The second band King Creature are a hard rock four piece from Par/Looe and they brought their own brand of New Orleans style good rockin' which got heads nodding and soundwise reminded me a little of that other local, well known dirty rockin' trio, Grifter.

Their set included 'Lies', Beaten Up-Broken Down', 'In Hell', 'Power', 'Wastes Life' and 'King Creature'.

The Florentine Camerata

Cornwall's modern progressive Metal quartet Transhuman were a band clearly very comfortable with this kind of compact venue, moving forward and virtually merging with the crowd for their crushing set, drawn from their 'The Fall Of Man [Re]Creation Uprising' album, which is available from their bandcamp page.

The set included 'Minimalist' and the first song they ever wrote, 'The Fall Of Man', and drummer James brought extra entertainment with his disappearing drumstick trick which had everyone, including him, laughing.

King Creature

The venue must have reminded Xerath a little of the venues they must have played in when they first formed in 2007 with front man Richard smiling and stating: "This is going to get very sweaty!" which it did, very quickly, the unfortunate downside of a basement venue and "I think we need a bigger PA".

The system was ideal for the previous bands but pushed to its limitations with Xerath's huge symphonic sound, however it did do the job adequately. Their set, which started with 'I Hold Dominion' and '2053' from their latest album 'III' followed by 'False History' from 'I' before returning' to 'III' for to 'Ironclad', 'Bleed This Body Clean', 'Death Defiant', 'Sentinels' and 'Witness' and closing on 'Machine Insurgency' from 'II', was well delivered and well received.


The event only drew about 35-40 people but in a small venue like Exile it didn't look empty. A lot of unfortunate factors were possibly involved, a recent change of venue name and no event poster in the venue window, which may have attracted more people, including students from the local university.

However the select and limited nature of the audience did not seem to affect the quality or enjoyment of the evening for those attending or performing.

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