Corpus Delicti – The Forge, Camden – 19 November 2022

3/4 of Corpus Delicti

I recently resolved to devote my time and money to new bands and not indulge in nostalgia-fests. That resolution lasted until I heard that Corpus Delicti, a French gothic rock/deathrock band who I last saw at Whitby Gothic Weekend in 1996, were due to play in London. On a Saturday, no less.

Image courtesy of Laura Manzi

Was it worth breaking my resolution for? 110%! I’ve been to a lot of life-changing gigs in 2022, and this was another addition to that list.

I’m out of touch with London venues, so The Forge was new to me. I expected a dingy hole in the wall, not a shiny new well-equipped performance space. The excellent venue definitely contributed to the gig being such a wonderful experience.

Corpus always had a distinctive sound which is mainly down to the drums, a driving yet oddly sparse sound. (I think we are no longer supposed to use the descriptor “tribal” but in my head it still 100% fits here). They no longer have the original drummer, but the original drum sound has been replicated, and thus the overall feel of the songs.

It didn’t feel like a nostalgia trip; all of the songs felt fresh. The band are having fun. Both the guitarist and the bassist exhibit just the right amount of swagger. The vocalist has a stunning stage presence – just the right level of brooding, so that he is intense without being self-indulgent, which exactly matches the material. He has a manner of delivery that makes you feel like he’s singing the song directly at you (certainly for me in the second row!).

They played for nearly two full hours – almost rivalling The Cure. The crowd was 100% up for the whole set, but dug deep and completely erupted for the big hit, Saraband, towards the end. Deservedly so – it’s a masterpiece.

There are not a lot of dates left on this tour, but if you get the chance, do go see them. More dates are promised in 2023 and I look forward to these very much.

I’m a guitarist, but this bass is a thing of beauty.