The 69 Eyes: London, The 229 (29/10/23)

The 69 Eyes: London, The 229 (29/10/23)

6th November 2023 0 By Gavin Griffiths

At the time of writing, it’s quickly approaching the end of October, and that can only mean one thing: it’s spooky season. Halloween for many brings with it different reasons to celebrate. Some love the parties and the dressing up, whether as adults cosplaying horror icons or meme references, getting wasted in the club, or kids at the mercy of their parents’ budget. Who doesn’t remember being a kid and your parents wrapping you up in about, eleventeen hundred rolls of toilet paper and saying, “There you go, you’re a mummy…now go and knock on strangers’ doors to beg for sweets like some sort of demonic diabetic Jehovah”. Mummies were off limits in 2020 though, toilet paper was like Unicorn shit and kids risked getting mugged.

Some people, use it as an extra excuse to indulge in movies of questionable quality and have horror marathons or, B-movie binges. Whether you take it seriously and watch the black and white Universal classics, maybe some Hammer Horror, or you just stock up on the beers to ironically watch “Shark Exorcist” for example. I laughed so hard at that swimming pool scene, like, legit.

For this reviewer however, it’s the perfect excuse to embrace my inner Goth; vibing with the shadows, letting the apparitions and poltergeists control my playlists and daily soundtracks. On Sunday, October 29th, we had the perfect playlist for Samhain, as Finland’s finest goth ‘n’ roll veterans THE 69 EYES hit London for a one-off Halloween special gig at 229, and they brought friends. All About The Rock were blessed be to be there, and it was an incredible show. Here’s what went down…

Anzi Destruction: London (29/10/23)


To begin with, it was a stressful commute into London. My coach from Cardiff made an unadvertised stop at Heathrow, before roadworks and closures sent us on a detour which put me nearly two hours late. Coupled that with the tube, checking into my hotel, and getting to the venue, I missed my interview slot. The band was understanding, and we’ll catch up next time, but still, very annoying. That aside, I got to the venue, ordered myself a Yack & Coke, and awaited our only support for the night; ANZI DESTRUCTION [7].

The Finnish rocker and his band are full of piss and vinegar tonight, as he tears through a barrage of hard-rocking, punk-inspired intensity. “Revival” gets us underway with its frankly seductive, sleazy garage rock aesthetics, with the deep chugging guitar, assertive over his subtly droned vocals, allowing for a moody, emotive opener. It really sets a base standard for the night. The recent single “Face Of The Crow” really goes in on the riff-driven hard rock. It’s percussive, heavy on the bass, and audibly pummels you. Another fantastically catchy chorus here and Anzi is a true frontman. He finds himself somewhere in between the likes of Trent Reznor, Iggy Pop, and Scott Weiland, and he portrays himself as a genuine rock star, which is bloody refreshing.

The latter influences can be heard on the likes of “Bully Dodger”, which combines a southern drawl with no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll, providing an upbeat, aggressive bluesy number, while “Suicide Angels” tears 229 apart with its vitriolic aggressive punk onslaught. As tonight’s support, they deliver and then some…Anzi and co know how to bring the riffs and the raucousness, and they certainly hype up tonight’s gathering of Goths. But, this is a Halloween celebration, we’re here for the Helsinki Vampires…and they only have one question; Do you wanna’ rock? You know we do.

The 69 Eyes, London (29/10/23)


THE 69 EYES [10] strut their way onto the stage to the sweet sounds of “Heartbreak Hotel” by ELVIS PRESLEY, like the black denim and leather-clad creatures of the night they are, and they waste no time tearing into “Devils”. The almost organ-esque tone to the opening guitar work, coupled with Jussi’s hard-hitting sticksmanship allows for a broodingly haunting piece of dark rock ‘n’ roll, strengthened further by Jyrki’s crooned baritone snarl. For a band over 30 years into their career, they show zero signs of slowing down, as they perform tracks off their latest album “Death Of Darkness”, which came out earlier this year. The title track is a classic piece of somber garage rock with Gothic aesthetics and a surprisingly uplifting tone. It’s encouraging in nature, singing of support and finding that light at the end of the tunnel. The funeral in question is that of your old self; your old mindset, better times are ahead and, it’s really quite lovely. “Drive” then houses more of that traditional glam rock vibe from the band’s earliest days in the late 80’s. A full-throttle song of burning passion, this one really gets the fists pumping tonight and the crowd lap it up.

Despite the new album being out, this isn’t really part of a promotional tour as such, so being a one-off show, tonight’s set is very rich in nostalgia. More recent cuts like “Cheyenna” from “West End” and “I Love The Darkness In You” from “X” show the band have always had plenty of energy and can to this day pen the catchiest dark rock bangers, but with a back catalog spanning three decades, they’ve got a plethora of tunes to treat tonight’s crowd with, and boy do they.

Deep cuts like “Wasting The Dawn” and even rarer cuts like “Sleeping With Lions” bring joy to tonight’s long-time fan-pires, with their glamorously gloomy timbre, allowing this packed colony of bats to sway in unison to the bands’ sombre tones. It’s the hits that get the biggest reception though of course, and The 69 Eyes certainly aren’t short of those. The suicidal musings of “The Chair” speak of love-loss in the genuinely saddest fashion, while “Gothic Girl” has all the ladies in attendance swaying their hips in synch to their own seductively dark anthem.

It’s a Halloween celebration however, so naturally they finish strong with “Brandon Lee”, based on the cult classic “The Crow”, with always gets the crowd going, and finally then, they round things off with “Lost Boys”. The 229 goes collectively bonkers and there isn’t a single person present not busting a lung singing along to this one, and we end things more than triumphantly. They asked London you wanna rock? London didn’t disappoint.

So deep into their career, The 69 Eyes are as energetic and entertaining as ever, which makes it all the more special that they don’t regularly tour here. Catching them at little one-off shows like this makes nights like tonight even more rewarding, and the mutual appreciation between the band and crowd is so, so evident. Hopefully, they hang around for some time to come, as they continue to age like a fine red, and never fail to deliver on stage or in the studio. With that being said, following the after party, I’m lost in the night-time honey and need to get an Uber back to my London hotel, which, isn’t promising as Anzi’s just drove off without him. Oops. Until next time.

Don’t Turn Your Back on Fear
Betty Blue
The Chair
Death of Darkness
Sleeping With Lions
Never Say Die
Gothic Girl
Wasting the Dawn
I Love the Darkness in You
Gotta Rock (Boycott cover)
Feel Berlin
Brandon Lee
Dance d’Amour
Lost Boys

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