Saint Agnes / One of the best around play The Devil’s Dog

What a night! What a band! What a venue! My first gig of the year, and the brilliant Saint Agnes got it off to a barnstorming start. The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, a new independent Hardcore Metal venue that opened last year, was full of great atmosphere, which Crashface and Tightie Whities ably built.

Saint Agnes – Crashface – Tightie Whities

The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024

Words and Photography: Andy Shaw

Saint Agnes

Saint Agnes - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Saint Agnes – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Saint Agnes have built a massive reputation as a brilliant live band, and on tonight’s performance, it’s easy to see why. With a set made up mainly from their latest Bloodsucker album, they kicked off with the title track. 

Saint Agnes - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Saint Agnes – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Straight from the off, Kitty A. Austen pulled no punches with her vocals, guitar playing and fantastic performance fronting Saint Agnes. Animal and I Mean Nothing to You were next, also from Bloodsucker. The lights at the rear of the stage were blinding, and the smoke-filled stage provided a perfect setting.

Saint Agnes - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Saint Agnes – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Austen was in full flow with the hard-hitting lyrics and interaction with the Devil’s Dog crowd, who were dancing and jumping around, creating a brilliant atmosphere. The band is a combination of Metal, punk, industrial and grunge is intoxicating. 

Saint Agnes - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Saint Agnes – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Next was Daughter Of Lucifer from the Family Strange EP, then Vampire, followed by At War With Myself. Fellow founder member Jon James Tufnell, on guitar, provides a perfect foil for Austen. 

Tonight, the bass player is Maxine. She is playing with the band as part of the tour but isn’t an official member currently.

Hella Rock Festival

Kitty explains that Bloodsucker was written after her mother’s death and dedicated This Is Not The End to her, climbing down from the stage and joining the crowd to sing it. This was followed by Repent, and Saint Agnes was joined on stage by Crashface frontman Charlie Hinton for a blistering rendition. 

Saint Agnes - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Saint Agnes – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Middle Finger was next, and with the crowd going crazy, Austen again jumped from the stage to join them in their frenzied action.

The set ended with Follow You absolutely proving Kitty A. Austen is one of the most fearless, fearsome and exciting frontwomen around and surely a superstar in the making. 

Saint Agnes - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Saint Agnes – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

You must get to see Saint Agnes because they are one of the best live bands around at the moment and are only going to get bigger and better.

Saint Agnes - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Saint Agnes – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Crashface

Crashface, who were the main support during the UK leg of the Saint Agnes tour, hit the ground running. The Devil’s Dog Digbeth crowd immediately loved their fusion of punk, Metal, and pop. 

Crashface - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Crashface – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Kicking off with Scream, dynamic frontman Charlie Hinton was dancing and jumping around the bijou stage. Smashing through Tripwire and Loading Screen, Crashface were showing what an excellent band they are. 

Crashface - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Crashface – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Hinton, who was ably partnered by Otto Balfour on bass, played No Hands, Ultra and finished off with Molotov. Crashface says they are perfect for anyone who wants to totally lose their mind in chaos without getting arrested. 

Crashface - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Crashface – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

This was a brilliant set from them, and I am sure we will see a lot more from these guys in the near future. [Ed. Can you see the detail in the socks above?]

Crashface - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Crashface – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Tightie Whities

Tightie Whities - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024 - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Tightie Whities – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

First up was an energetic set from local boys Tightie Whities, who describe themselves as surf punks. The boys delivered a mix of old and new songs that had plenty of good old punk rock, getting the evening off to a great start.

Tightie Whities - The Devil's Dog Digbeth, Birmingham - 26 January 2024
Tightie Whities – The Devil’s Dog Digbeth, Birmingham – 26 January 2024. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

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