Refusing To Give In

It’s not been an easy year for Aiden. Forced to pull short their US tour in the spring due to personal reasons, the band soon saw their numbers reduced with the departure of guitarist Jake Wambold throwing the future of the band into jeopardy. But Aiden aren’t a band to let such things stand in their way.

The truth is wiL Francis is sick, any normal person would be snugly tucked up in bed with every flu remedy on the market shoved down their throat but as Francis takes to the stage, it’s obvious this is not an option. Clearly suffering from the onslaught of a full flu attack, Francis takes on his new role as guitarist/singer with an ease that he doesn’t quite seem aware of possessing yet, later apologising for his poor guitar skills that he promises will get better but that to everyone else have sounded just fine. Tearing into an anthemic doused blast of ‘Teenage Queen’, Aiden may have seen their line up shrink but their energetic enthusiasm is still very much there. Even sick, Francis makes for an intriguingly captivating frontman as he leaps around the stage; screamingly hitting the raw energy of ‘Last Sunrise’ before rushing into an adrenaline hyped ‘Die Romantic’ as he lunges recklessly into the crowd for what seems like the tenth time already this evening. ‘Die Die My Darling’ gets a welcomed outing also whilst the infectious exuberance of ‘One Love’ soon buzzes brilliantly by, ending with Francis again apologising for having a sore throat, obviously struggling with illness but refusing to give in.

With the lights dimmed and a wash of silence spreading throughout the darkness, Francis makes for a solitary figure on stage as the gentle tenderness of ‘Bliss’ ripples across the crowd, bristling with its stark honesty as the Seattle quintet capture the crowd in a moment of silence before the roar of the chorus erupts with Francis calling for the crowd to help him sing it even louder. Sounding worryingly like the child catcher, Francis proceeds to stand at the front of the stage and beckons the “children” to join him over the barrier, a request that terrifies security as bodies scramble to the front. Soon though it is Francis who is worried as his request is met with perhaps too much enthusiasm with bodies soon submerging the stage. But tonight Francis doesn’t really care. A quick mention that it wasn’t what he meant is met with a shrug of his shoulders and a “oh well” smirk that truly sums up the Aiden frontman as he leads the charge with ‘World By Storm’. Soon engulfed by fans, Francis is lost amongst the bodies with guitarist Angel Imbarra and bassist Nick Wiggins following suit whilst Jake Davison’s drum beats are the only sign that he is even still there as the quartet close their set with riotous confusion and mayhem that is so fitting.

Aiden aren’t a band to buckle at the first sign of pressure and having taken some time out, the Seattle band are back to prove that they can survive any storm, even a bout of flu. It’s never been an easy ride for this band, perhaps that’s what makes them so intriguing, but with the fight still in their bellies, the fans still there to support, it looks like the newly arranged Aiden still have the passion to push on and whilst a sore throat may have caused Francis a few problems tonight, he refused to halt the show, putting the fans first, much to their appreciation and delight.