It’s something of a blessing that the stage management team in the O2 Academy are concentrating tonight’s operations in the venue’s smaller room, whose acoustics lend themselves better to the bands than the cavernous environs of its big brother upstairs.
Despite the more intimate settings, Glasgow’s CRUSADES are still only playing to a handful of curious observers. It’s a damn liberty as well because they come across confident and impeccably tight. We’re staggered to discover that they have only been together six months and have never played outside of their home town. Needless to say, we feel like we’ve stumbled upon something a little special.
Their only released track ‘Pseudo Andro’ is a mesmerising five-minute behemoth and sounds like Protest The Hero would if they had At The Drive-In’s Cedric Bixler on vocals.
Ridiculously muscular guitarist Steve Murray screams vocals like he’s got a mouthful of bees, trading duties with second guitarist with Mark Higgins who throws himself around the stage with minimal regard for his own safety.
Crusades tear through less than 20 minutes of skull-crushing technical hardcore and deliver a lesson to all up-and-coming punk bands: play to 10 people as you would to 1,000. You never know who might be watching. Tonight, we were watching and we’ll be back when they return in September for a full tour.