'It is obvious that the easier path would have been to slink into the shadows', guitarist Richard Oliver wrote on Instagram
The former members of Lostprophets, alongside new frontman Geoff Rickly, played their first gig as new band No Devotion last night, thanking fans for “sticking with them”.
There was a quickly building crowd at the back of Cardiff Students’ Union early ahead of their show; by 6.30pm dozens of fans were queuing up the stairs towards the 350 capacity CF10 venue, much smaller than venues their former band Lostprophets were accustomed to filling.
In Pictures: No Devotion – Former Lostprophets Members Play Emotional First Gig Together
While some fans were spotted wearing Lostprophets wristbands, many were already wearing No Devotion T-shirts. While the band did not play any Lostprophets material, two hecklers demanding Lostprophets tracks were ignored.
Beginning shortly after 9pm with their new logo across the back of the stage, No Devotion started their set in darkness, kicking off with ‘Night Drive’, which was quickly followed by ‘Eyeshadow’.
Acknowledging the crowd for the first time, frontman Rickly said simply: “Hello Cardiff. We’re a new band called No Devotion and thank you for selling out our first show.”
He later addressed the crowd to shout “Let’s fucking have it then”, before jumping into more new material including The Stooges-referencing ‘I Want To Be Your God’, and ‘10,000 Summers’, which Rickly called “our summertime song”, and ended with him jumping into the pit.
Later on, before B-Side ‘The Only Thing’, the frontman referenced what the band had been through after their Lostprophets bandmate was convicted for 29 years for serious child sex offences, saying: “I’ve never been so welcomed as I have in Cardiff the last few days”. He then thanked the crowd for “sticking with us”, saying, “You’ve seen these guys on stage for 15 years”.
Earlier in the day, guitarist Richard Oliver had posted an emotional post on Instagram referencing Watkins, writing: “It is obvious that the easier path would have been to slink into the shadows and quietly fade into obscurity. Today with courage we wear our hearts on our sleeves and add a new chapter to this story, one which can allow us to hold our heads high and face the world again as musicians.”
After finishing the set, Rickly said, “We’re going to go, because we don’t want you to stay too long” before set-closer ‘Grand Central Station’.
Speaking to NME after the gig, fan Carwyn James McPharlane from Pontypridd said of the gig “It’s amazing to see them getting back on their feet and with such an immense new frontman – from the second I heard ‘Stay’ I thought it was fresh and better than the Lostprophets later stuff.”
The band will now play two more dates across the UK in Manchester tonight (July 23) and London on Friday (25).
No Devotion played:
‘I Wanna Be Your God’
‘The Only Thing’
‘Grand Central Station’