Casey; A Celebration and Farewell
Writing & Photos by Dylan Hewitson-Bevis
It’s hard to know what to wear to a funeral. Guessing the mood is a mug’s game, and it’s best to dress how you feel appropriate for the tone. Do you wear black to reflect your mourning? Do you choose something colourful to celebrate and reflect? It’s hard to know what to wear to a funeral, especially if this funeral is for a band, rather than a person.
Over two nights in London, a sold-out crowd paid their respects to a monumental group of artists. Casey, a 5-piece melodic hardcore band from Wales, chose The Dome in Tufnell Park as their final resting place. Instead of clawing at dirt and smoothing over the soil from six feet below, Casey took the stage in a proud, bittersweet celebration of their journey. A memorial stands proud near Tufnell Park tube station, The Dome representing 5 years of dedication to a scene desperate for such abject talent.
The band made the decision to play through their two albums over each evening. Love is Not Enough rattled off the walls on Friday night, and Where I Go When I Am Sleeping sung a bitter lullaby as Saturday slipped away. I was fortunate enough to make a pilgrimage to London from humble little Brisbane, with Australia only being gifted one Casey tour in the form of a support act for Belle Haven on their national tour. As such, I had only heard few songs from Casey in a live environment.
To my absolute delight, I was able to secure a spot at both memorial nights. I caught both albums in their entirety, appreciating the extra songs sprinkled in at the end of each respective set that whet the appetites of those unable to catch both shows. Friday night ended with singles from Where I Go…, while Saturday featured the singles from Love is Not Enough. Both nights also featured the three songs from the band’s first EP, Fade, satisfying those in the crowd who had been there from the beginning.
Even now, I can’t bring to words the atmosphere of the venue on those two evenings. I believe Tom Weaver, the band’s front person, put it best when he addressed the crowd by saying, “For band that founded itself in pain and trauma, for our songs to reach their crescendo in a room full of joy…” Each member of the band proved their dedication to their legacy by playing the songs to their fullest, shedding tears and crowd surfing along with the fans down below.
I think each of us at The Dome were somewhere on our own paths to better health and living. Some further than others, for sure, but we were and still are journeying towards the great unknown, with the unknown being a feeling of comfortability in our skin and selves. I found Casey at one of my lowest points, and lived their words for years as I worked the bruises and scars into something more beautiful than myself. I can confidently say I am better than who I was when I first listened to Love is Not Enough, and to be able to shout the words from that record that bloomed in trauma with a smile on my face is a triumph of my own design. I am better because of Casey. There is no doubt about that.
Funerals are difficult. It’s hard to know how to present yourself when you’re saying goodbye to something woven within your veins. Yet, I think all of us who said farewell to Casey did so with honour and respect. Through the cacophony of rage, noise, bitterness and self-loathing that permeated the meat and bones of Casey’s discography, we as an audience found love, appreciation and a sense of self in their words. I am forever in Casey’s debt for taking my hand and walking me towards a better future. Thank you.
I’ll leave you with my favourite lyric, from their song Sleep. Seldom played live, this song received one of the best receptions on the first evening, and rightfully so.
Give me the strength to love myself, as I am told that I am loved. May I believe, despite my doubts, that someday I will be good enough.