Live Gig Photos

Pop Evil, Live at the O2 Academy 2, Islington London, November 10th, 2014


© Adrian Hextall

Photos and Live Gig Review by Adrian Hextall


There are times when you wish that bands were afforded more than just word of mouth to get people out to see them play live. For a band that has seen its’ last two album at the top of the hard rock charts and also get into the top 50 on the US Billboard charts, it is a surprise to find them playing ‘the baby brother’ of the O2 Academy in Islington. The Academy 2 with its solitary bar and smaller stage plays host tonight to a three band bill which, had it been more widely publicised, could have probably resulted in the larger venue being used. It is however an opportunity for those in the know to say “we were there” on what is the first London headlining show for Pop Evil.

Beneath Dead Waves

A reasonable crowd of just 30 or so congregate are in place by the time Beneath Dead Waves take to the stage. They play a mix of thrash, groove and nu-metal. Joey Draper on vocals manages to blend the rough with the smooth and is equally capable singing some very crisp vocals one moment followed by guttural roars another.

The band deliver an energised set with Draper bounding around like a young Phil Anselmo. It’s quite a contrast to the modern metal on offer from the headliners and seems to go down well the the small assembled crowd. It’s a short set, with a tight rhythm section and some excellent guitar work from Doug Cartwright and Matt Reeves. The progressive elements allow the band to perform some complex work outs and leaves the first few rows of the audience banging their heads in appreciation.

Beneath Dead Waves
Beneath Dead Waves

In Search Of Sun

A tight and slick unit, In Search of Sun have undergone a name change (formerly Driven) and deliver a set more in keeping with Pop Evil than they may have done under their previous monicker. From their groove laden metalcore roots, demonstrated momentarily when they go back to ‘The Fool’ from their earlier E.P. they now demonstrate a well crafted band that has clearly progressed in songwriting and maturity. The manage to blend a mix of infectious melodies, raw emotion and an in Adam Leader, they get great audience interaction which energises the room and helps create a great environment and acts as the perfect warm up for the main act.

Their appearance is almost a modern re-working of ZZ Top. Everyone seems to be sporting beards except for Leader who has gone one step further and forsaken both beard and hair as well. The twin guitar approach of the hirsute Rory Kay and David Ferrer creates some great melodies and is rounded off by the bouncing groove from Faz Couri’s bass and Sean Gorman’s drumming.

Their debut album ‘The World Is Yours’ is out now and well worth investing in.


RORY KAY – Guitars
SEAN GORMAN – Drums & Backing Vox


The World Is Yours
Give In
In Search Of Sun
Idle Crown
The Fool
51 56

Every track besides “The Fool” is from their début Album “The World Is Yours”.

Pop Evil

Having released three albums since 2008, the band’s only live experience in the UK to date has been on the Five Finger Death Punch tour in 2013. As they return to their first headline show in London the crowd swells but could, as noted, have been so much more with some decent media publicity.

When they bound on stage however, the hunger and desire is there in spades and they turn in the sort of show an arena filling band would be proud of. Rising to the challenge, the perfectly formed crowd sing back the songs, word for word to the band. Vocalist Leigh Kakaty is clearly impressed and grateful that they’ve stumbled upon a coven of Pop Evil apprentices, willing to soak up every little message the band can deliver to them.

They make the most of the hour long set afforded to them and rather than wasting a third of the time with audience chatter as many of their fellow countrymen are want to do, the speak little and play more. For thoe that come to Pop Evil for the first time, their sound and style is not a million miles away from Shinedown and they could easily stand shoulder to shoulder on stage with them ‘Goodbye My Friend’ enters the mind and stays there long after the set has finished and is an indication that in a short space of time, the band have turned themselves into what could easily become a world conquering outfit. If (and it’s looking likely on the strength of tonight’s show) they do launch themselves globally, a lot of people will claim to have been at this London show. Special mention has to go to both drummer Chaci Riot who spends most of his time on his feet such is the energy flowing through his body whilst playing and also bassist Matt DiRito who looks like he’s just having the time of his life as dances around the stage throwing his bass around like it’s made of paper.

‘Boss’s Daughter’, originally played with a guest lick or ten from Mick Mars is an obvious highlight of the night as is main set closer ‘Torn To Pieces’. This band have a very bright future ahead, let’s hope that next time, they get to play a far far bigger venue.


Leigh Kakaty – vocals
Chachi Riot – drums
Dave Grahs – guitar
Matt DiRito – bass
Nick Fuelling – guitar


Sick Sense
Behind Closed Doors
Boss’s Daughter
Monster You Made
Goodbye My Friend
Somebody Like You
Torn to Pieces
Deal with the Devil / Trenches

Tell Us How You Feel