Live Review: Chapter and Verse - Thousand Island, London 16/05/2019


After releasing their second EP, at the start of the year, East London’s alternative rock band Chapter and Verse have gone from strength to strength in creating a movement of acceptance and striving to be the best version of yourself, which they call The New Breed.

Their first ever headline tour started off, this week, with an empowering sense of community following along behind them. When we caught their set at Thousand Island, upstairs at The Garage in North London, the band had brought a new lease of life along with them. This is the first tour that Chapter and Verse are embarking on with their new drummer, Kevin Miller, who is a good friend of the band – the new set-up sees ex-drummer Ashley Morton moving over to guitar. Singer Josh Carter introduced the band halfway through the set and jokingly explains that despite normally wanting to hog the attention to himself, the slightly altered line-up is well worth mentioning as “Ash is that good, that he can switch roles like it’s nothing.”

The extra addition to the band meant that the tiny stage was slightly cramped, but it did not seem to faze Chapter and Verse, it just meant that Josh spent most of his time at the edge of the stage, balancing on the speakers and getting immersed in the crowd. With a stage set-up that included the lampshades that litter their album artwork; Chapter and Verse opened with the yet to be released ‘Miracle Drugs’ before powering into the darkly poetical ‘The New Breed’. In the outro of the song, the words ‘oh my god’ slipped through Josh’s mouth in a moment where it seems to sink in just how far they have come in the last few months. Packing out a venue on your first ever headline show is no small feat, but it is definitely deserved for Chapter and Verse.

“This right here is a safe space for you to be entirely who you are. If you wanna dance around or jump on stage, we will back you the whole way” – Josh addressed the crowd as they delve into the rattlingly emotive ‘Eleven Hours in Real Time’, from the latest EP ‘Glow’. Despite the lyrics: “we’re losing sense of what we came here for”, it seems as though Chapter and Verse are filled with more purpose than ever before. Despite only releasing new music a few months ago, the band have latched onto a moment of constant creation with three new songs being thrown into the set. Chapter and Verse dip their toes into post-hardcore, at times, with bone-shaking bass lines, courtesy of Jonny Hopwood mixed with Darren Gosling’s throttling guitar build-ups. ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Wide Awake’ are songs that appeared to have had their live debut on this tour, and have the synthetic elements of new-age rock music, that Bring Me The Horizon have made their signature in their latest album. 

Showcasing the newer songs definitely did not steal the shine from older songs such as ‘A Devil in Blue’ which was as hard-hitting as ever. It’s one of those songs which has anthemic rage qualities. When Chapter and Verse blow up to the point of playing the main stage at festivals, this will be the song that gets the crowd opening up circle pits and going mad. The emotions came out as the Josh introduced ‘Ink’ which delves into the disillusionment of adulthood: “for us, now 5 guys, this band is more to us than playing shows. It’s a place to go.” One thing we can all relate to is using music as an escape route. As the song progressed, Josh jumped into the crowd and shared an intimate moment with the crowd during the last chorus. There were hands in the air and majority of the crowd singing along with him. One of my favourite parts about seeing bands on the rise, is being able to share these authentically rare moments with them.

Retaining the emotive moments led the band to play ‘The Casket’. Vocals and three-part harmonies are key in this song, and in order to hold the atmosphere without distraction, Ash and Jonny barely touched their instruments – instead, tapping them along the neck to sustain their notes before the meaningful pop-punk song unravelled. Offering a free shot to the first person who would crowd-surf to their next song, Chapter and Verse delved into the tense and heavier ‘Magazines’ which was a sure-fire way of getting the crowd riled up. Rather than drag out a set full of familiar hits for the sake of filling a set amount of time, Chapter and Verse let their set end with ‘Magazines’ which left the crowd demanding an encore. Instead, they band satisfied the crowd’s needs by hanging around the merch stand greeting those who took the time out of their lives to spend an evening supporting them.

Words by Tyler Damara Kelly