Reviewed: Exit Ten at Sub89

Published: 18 Oct 2012 07:300 comments

It's 9.05pm on Thursday, October 11, and we're backstage at Sub89. Exit Ten frontman Ryan is getting changed to go on and chatting about how much cheaper it is to rent a motorhome than a tour bus, as long as you don't mention that you're in a band. He's clearly very excited.

HOMETOWN SHOW: Exit Ten frontman Ryan onstage at Sub89.
PHOTO: SOLOMON RADLEY

Exit Ten are about to embark on the biggest tour of their careers, supporting Shinedown in 5,000 capacity venues across Europe, and in preparation they're staging a very special show in their home town. By 9.15pm the floor has packed out and the venue is buzzing with anticipation. The stage barrier is occupied by the usual rabble of teenagers, but looking around the room it's easy to make out the long-time fans, friends of the band, and even Ryan's mum perched on a stool behind the sound booth.

It's been nine years since these guys decided to name their band after the motorway exit that takes you into Reading, and tonight they've planned a real treat.

The band burst on stage with their usual presence and power, and delivered a set jam-packed with their 'classic' tracks - the early metalcore that takes a back seat in their live show nowadays in favour of their newer material.

Songs that were especially good to hear again include the musical barrage that is My Great Rebellion, and long-time set closer Resume Ignore, which has grown into a classic sing-along over the years.

They clearly couldn't resist throwing in some of the new songs though, and punctuated the nostalgia nicely with some absolute bangers: Life is one of my favourite songs from last year, and both Suggest A Path and Mountains were well-received by a raucous crowd.

Ryan's voice was spot on all night, and as the band rounded the night off with Lion, the whole room lent a hand bellowing the song's anthemic closing passage back at them.

Exit Ten have battled against a string of bad luck ever since their record label Pinnacle Entertainment went bankrupt and administrators seized the rights to their debut album, but the guys are still soldiering on because they're doing what they love. This general ethos is summed up perfectly by Ryan at the end of the show.

"Don't give up on your dreams, my friends," he said. "We certainly won't!"

SOLOMON RADLEY

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