LIVE: Marmozets @ ULU Student Central, London (07/02/2018)

Date: February 7th 2018
Venue: ULU Student Central, London
Support: Queen Zee


Headlining the ULU Student Central tonight are alt rock five piece, Marmozets. Remember Marmozets? They stormed the UK rock scene back in 2014 with an absolute stonker of a debut, became regulars on the UK festival circuit, racked up favourable press from just about every media outlet, and then… sort of disappeared.

But they’re back, and with a vengeance. Their sophomore album, ‘Knowing What You Know Now’, was released at the end of January to rave reviews, and now fans have packed themselves like sardines into this student bar to catch a first taste of the new material live.

By the time Liverpool punks Queen Zee [6] take to the stage, the room is already packed to the rafters. These guys are bold, brash, and demand your attention whether you feel like giving it to them or not. Their bass heavy, fuzzy rock tunes give off early Green Day vibes, and eccentric frontwoman Zee has no trouble generating enthusiasm from the crowd. The band show their sense of humour on ‘Porno’, a song about having bad sex, whilst gritty groover ‘Sissy Fists’ feels reminiscent of Bikini Kill.

As edgy and fun as all this is, the band really come into their own on set closer, ‘Fly The Pink Flag’ – a caustic rager dealing with homophobia and transphobia, which Zee dedicates to the victims of the Orlando massacre. “Homophobia and transphobia have no place in music, they have no place in society, and they have no place here tonight,” she declares to raucous cheers. Queen Zee could well be one of UK punk’s mainstays very soon. Stay tuned.

Yet, the crowd are here for one reason, and one reason only; to finally hear some of the new Marmozets [8] tracks live, and the band waste no time. Exploding straight into ‘New Religion’, frontwoman Becca Macintyre leads the pack with some impressive vocal riffing, with brother Sam assisting in harmonies. The second the track finishes, the band launch into single ‘Habits’, one of the album’s strongest tracks with its irrepressible hook that on record sounds like it’s begging to be bellowed by a roomful of people, and that’s exactly what happens here.

Every member of Marmozets is technically proficient – from the mathy, technical licks provided by Sam Macintyre and Jack Bottomley, to the thick, rumbling bass tones from Will Bottomley, breakneck rhythms from Josh Macintyre, and the gravelly roars from Becca who sounds every bit as good live as she does on record.

There’s a raw, candid realness to their live show (there’s no backing track, no smoke and mirrors) that translates very well as they rip through more new bangers like ‘Meant To Be’ and ‘Start Again’. These guys may be heavyweights now, but they haven’t forgotten their DIY roots.

Things quieten down briefly for eerie slow burner ‘Insomnia’, which is gorgeously atmospheric in a live capacity. It’s a brief respite before lead single ‘Play’ sets an earthquake rippling through the audience, and a hole quickly tears down the centre of the room and becomes the biggest pit of the night. Whilst the lion’s share of the set is dedicated to showcasing their new tracks, the band do drop in a number of older cuts, notably crowd-pleaser ‘Why Do You Hate Me?’, and a rousing rendition of ‘Captivate You’, which does exactly as the title promises.

As the last notes ring out round the room, there’s none of the usual rush to the exit – fans wait eagerly at the front of the stage, clamouring for more, only giving up when the lights come on. It’s a testament that a show like this does leave you wanting more, when the energy is this infectious and the choruses are this huge. Please, don’t leave it so long next time, Marmozets.

Written by Lottie Cook (@pixelottie)