Considering it’s been just over a year since Lower Than Atlantis released their most ambitious record to date, ‘Safe In Sound’, the band have been rather quiet. There was a UK tour early last year in support of the record, and a support slot with Enter Shikari a few months ago, but other than that there’s barely been a peep from the Watford boys. Tonight, the band are at the start of a huge UK tour that’s taking the band to cities and venues that rarely shows of this caliber.
Unfortunately, due to the concept of the tour, tonight doesn’t seem to have sold well. When you consider that Pontypridd is a good half hour away from Cardiff and even further away from Swansea, the two most populated cities in Wales, what else would you expect?
Up first are The Faim , a four-piece pop-rock band from Perth, Australia. The band take to the stage like seasoned pros, and work the scarcely empty venue with so much passion and enthusiasm that it’s infectious. Considering the band only have two songs in circulation, there are plenty of people in the crowd singing along. Lead singer Josh Raven has a charisma and charm surrounding him that could be compared to the legend himself that is Mick Jagger, especially with his raucous attitude and enthusiastic dancing.
The band end on their first single ‘Saints Of The Sinners’, a full-on pop anthem that was co-written with Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) and recorded by the legendary John Feldmann (Goldfinger), so it gives you a clear indication of how big these boys are going to get. It won’t be long before The Faim are playing in venues twice this size.
Next on are Milk Teeth , who are soldiering on without frontwoman Becky Blomfield who had to drop off the tour for health reasons. The band play an infectious brand of grunge punk, and tonight their guitarist Billy Hutton is on vocal duties while they perform as a trio, which shows a lot of character about the band. With Hutton on vocals, the band move to a slightly more punk sound that’s reminiscent of old school Green Day. With only one day to prepare for a show as a three-piece, the band look to have taken it in their stride, and for half an hour it feels like being back in the 90s.
As soon as Lower Than Atlantis  take to the stage, the half empty venue does come alive with a bit more atmosphere and excitement. With a setlist mainly compromised with tracks from the band’s last two records, Mike Duce and co. blast out anthems that were made for sold out arenas and not half empty concert halls. ‘Had Enough’ and ‘Dumb’ open the set to which there’s movement in the crowd for only the second time in the night. ‘Far Q’ is met with a massive circle pit around Duce in the middle of the crowd, followed by ‘Another Sad Song’, which sees the crowd sealed around him as he executes an unplugged rendition of the heart-wrenching number.
Despite the lack of heads in the audience tonight, Lower Than Atlantis certainly know how to work an audience, be it pointing out individuals in the crowd to chug their drinks, enticing crowd surfers, or making the crowd belly laugh with anecdote stories about being in a band.
Closing with a one-two of ‘English Kids In America’ and ‘Here We Go’, both of which are greeted with the biggest reception of the night (and rightly so), these two tracks are living proof that the band should be playing venues that are a lot bigger than this and selling records by the bucket load. Who knows what the future holds for Lower Than Atlantis, but if it’s anything less than selling out arenas across the country in the near future then it’s a damn shame.
Written by Jacob Eynon (@deadpressjake)