Billy Talent - The Albert Hall, Manchester

Billy Talent - The Albert Hall, Manchester

Following a run of dates at numerous E.U. and U.K. festivals, Canadian punk rockers, Billy Talent, have brought their live show to the U.K. for a limited number of dates. Tonight, they take on Manchester at the Albert Hall with support from British up-and-comers Snayx. With anticipation for the headline set building, it’s time for the warm up act.

First and only support tonight is Snayx. Hailing from south England the punk rock trio waste no time in getting the crowd going. Walking out swigging a bottle of Buckfast, Snayx hit the stage like a storm; hitting their crowd with their unique punk sound they grab the crowds attention almost instantly. The energy on stage is high throughout, making it a lot of fun to watch. Singer, Charlie Herridge commands the crowd with the confidence of a singer who has been in the game for years, whilst bassist, Ollie Horner struts and bounces back and forth across the stage, only stopping to provide backing vocals. Drummer, Lainey Loops provides some booming beats played with precision, driving the rhythm of the performance. 

Snayx are another band who have taken the Royal Blood approach of ditching the guitar and seeing how far they can push the bass guitar to create a similar sound. Whilst similar in sound to the likes of Soft Play, they are still unique enough to stand on their own. Herridge also provides a unique and interesting vocal approach. At times it sounds like vicious spoken word; against a bass heavy sound, it only gives more bite to each word. Before leaving the stage they thank Billy Talent for bringing them on tour and assure the crowd they will be back in no time as they have recently announced a tour. 

The lights drop and it’s time for the main event. Billy Talent take to the stage and are clearly confident in their performance. Kicking things off with 2006 hit, ‘Devil In A Midnight Mass’ is a total power move. As soon as the opening riff plays out the crowd roar and descend into chaos. They back it up with an emotional play through of ‘This Suffering’ before jumping forward to 2022’s ‘I Beg To Differ’. ‘Afraid of Heights’ is a standout early performance, hitting all the right notes and inciting huge singalongs from the crowd, behind Benjamin Kowalewicz’s powerful vocal performance. 

With years of experience behind them the band's performance is tight as they take control of the stage. Lead guitarist Ian D’Sa doesn’t disappoint either, hitting every note whilst looking effortlessly cool with his iconic hair style. Bassist Jonathan Gallant takes complete control of his side of the stage, strutting back and forth, occasionally leaning out over the crowd. Early in the set, Ben apologises for the band's absence in the U.K. over recent years but confirms it’s good to be back. As this isn’t a tour in support of an album, Billy Talent have free rein on how they craft their setlist, making for a night of 'hit after hit'. It's a career-spanning set which leaves no stone unturned and incorporates songs from all albums with a heavy focus on the first 3 albums, making for a truly exciting set for the crowd. Songs like ‘Rusted From the Rain’ still hit hard, bringing a huge singalong from the chorus. ‘Try Honesty’ is a standout mid-set song, sounding just as good as the first time it was played. It’s the song which put them on the map and the crowd are here for it.

As we start drawing near the end of this huge 20-song set, the hits keep coming and energy in the crowd is consistently high. ‘Viking Death March’ brings the mosh back to the crowd, followed in quick succession with a blistering performance of punk rock anthem ‘Red Flag’. Billy Talent end the night with ‘Fallen Leaves’ giving the crowd one last chance to burn off that energy and scream their hearts out to this huge song. There's no better way to finish what has already been a fantastic set. And like that the night is over. If there's one takeaway from this soldout night, it's that no matter how long Billy Talent are away, the fans will always come back to support them, taking in everything the band have to offer and giving back the energy and respect that so many bands desire.