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Following their first UK headline show in London earlier this year, rising youngsters within the Belgian rock/metal scene, Steak Number Eight, have returned to these shores for a four date tour. Coinciding with the fortunate timing of their latest album, 'All Is Chaos', available as a free covermount CD with the latest issue of Metal Hammer, coupled with the fact it's a Saturday night, I expected a healthy turnout this evening in Sheffield, despite the band still being a largely unknown entity in this country. As such, my expectations are far from met with only around 25 people occupying the Corporation's smallest room (with its ridiculously tall/deep stage). Still, undeterred by such a small crowd of onlookers, and evidently recovered from what I heard was a heavy night on the beer and cider for the lads after their London show last night, Steak Number Eight are on fine energetic form this evening.

Playing an hour long set, they commence with 'The Sea Is Dying', a track from their 2008 debut album, 'When the Candle Dies Out...', before treating the lucky few to storming renditions of a plethora of songs from 'All Is Chaos'. The anthemic 'Dickhead', for which a video has just been released, seems to be the track that engenders the biggest reaction in the audience which sparks some into dancing along to its infectious stoner grooves, while other down-tempo numbers like 'Track Into the Sky' provide a sublimely alluring soundtrack within which it's easy to become absorbed by the captivating melodies and post-rock ambience. In fact, if one had to slap a label on Steak Number Eight's music, then it would be a fusion of those two elements, so post-stoner if you will. The quartet blend said styles so perfectly and, to be honest, I'm blown away by the maturity in their songwriting at such a young age and at such an early stage of their career. All four musicians give it their all tonight with a tirelessly energetic performance. Quite simply, they own the stage through a thoroughly commanding presence and utterly tight delivery of the material. Frontman Brent Vanneste, compared by the Belgian media to Kurt Cobain, lives up to such a mightily flattering observation, although only in stage presence and talent as Steak Number Eight are musically distinct from Nirvana.

Their hour on stage seems to disappear in no time at all and as their set climaxes, the small crowd show their appreciation with loud cheers and applause. I can only hope word spreads fast within the UK about this talented young act for they have the potential to be huge. I was already impressed by their recorded output but I can now happily report they can also cut it in a live context. Hold on to your cows, Steak Number Eight have arrived!
Saturday 5th May 2012
Corporation in Sheffield, UK
Review & Photography by Mark Holmes
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
Steak Number Eight at the Corporation, Sheffield, UK, 5th May 2012
Photograph copyright 2012 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
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