Live Review: South Of Salem with support from Black Lakes & Scarsun at The Patriot, Crumlin on 19-08-22



The Home Of Rock gets well and truly rocked!

The Patriot is known as The Home Of Rock with very good reason. From the outside, the venue in Crumlin looks anything but auspicious, but when the doors open, that is when the magic happens. 

Having recently undergone a huge renovation that has doubled its capacity to cater for up to a few hundred patrons, the venue is one of South Wales’ most frequent stops for rock and metal bands on tour. Tonight sees Bournemouth’s South Of Salem headline, ably supported by local acts Black Lakes and Scarsun.

This is the first time I’ve caught Scarsun live, and from first impressions, I notice how they have a nu-metal vibe with the instrumental, made up of Matt Hall on guitar, Jim McDonald on bass and Nathan Miles on drums. The track playing before they start reminds me of Spiritbox, particularly the style of backing track which plays before the instruments begin. Within seconds, the people milling about outside come in to watch the band perform and people comment on how well put together they are. Letha Curtis’ melodic vocals work very well with each song, and show the dynamic between her and the rest of the band.

Black Lakes begin their set with Avarice, a high energy track off their debut album For All We’ve Left Behind, and the room very quickly fills. There seem to be a lot of people who have come out to see the South-Wales band, evident as they go through each track with people singing the songs back, and loudly! Most notably during their performance of Black Days Come, the crowd is singing along, almost chanting the poignant end lyrics. There is a slight technical issue as the wrong tracks are lined up, but the clear, strong friendship between the band members patch it up with humour and quickly move on.

I’ve been lucky enough to see this band live multiple times, and with less people than this on this occasion. The crowd being so interactive seemed to fuel a fire within them and push them to put on one of their best shows that I’ve seen to date. As they were closing the set, The Divide was one of the last tracks which stood out to me over any of them. People were singing, swaying, dancing all around the venue and the quality of the track was something which wasn’t to be missed. The adrenaline pumped through the venue after they finished their last track, Dissident, and I saw people turn around and head straight toward their merch table.

If people hadn’t heard of Black Lakes before seeing their set, they were definitely interested after!


South of Salem manage to bring a whole different crowd to The Patriot; all kinds of people are at the venue to catch this band, some who have travelled, and some who are local, which is nice to see in the emerging scene. They’re a great band to follow after Black Lakes, the energy instantly rising as soon as they step onto the stage. This is the band’s debut headline show in South Wales, and I don’t think it will be the last. The crowd help to carry the show as Joey Draper (vocals) relays, “I heard South Wales was loud”, before encouraging them to be louder during Made to be Mine, splitting the crowd and asking them to compete for the most noisy “woah”. The liveliness of this band really draws you in. There’s no standing still, every single member of the band are jumping about; sometimes there’s so much going on, you aren’t sure where to look!

During the band’s performance of the hauntingly beautiful Demons are Forever, a ballad type song, which is a tribute to people who’ve been lost, it was as if everybody around just stopped still to listen. That was a moment frozen in time, which has been stuck in my memory from that night. I saw tears, sweat, and lots of smiles throughout the band’s set, the entire dynamic of the evening reflected on everyone on- and off-stage, which ended in cheers across the venue. The great thing about this band is the catchy dark choruses are bound to get stuck in your head, which makes you want to listen to and see them again and again and again.


MK Photography



The Patriot

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping