LIVE REVIEW: Boston Manor @ SWG3, Glasgow (27/09/2018)

Credit: Joshua Halling

Date: September 27th 2018
Venue: SWG3, Glasgow
Support: Wallflower / Drug Church / Microwave


Having recently released their dissonant sophomore effort ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’, a record currently receiving plenty of critical praise, things in the world of Boston Manor are looking supremely positive.

To celebrate their newest release, the five-piece have taken it to across some of the best, liveliest venues the UK has to offer, and tonight’s show at Glasgow’s SWG3 hotspot is no different.

Kicking things off to a fairly underwhelming number of bodies, London alternative rockers Wallflower [7] show why they’re one of the best underground bands around right now. Their laid back, relaxed stage presence fits their early set, as what few heads in the crowd seem to be bobbing along to their melodic, driving noise.

Next up, the energy is turned up to 11 as Albany hardcore punks Drug Church [7] wake everyone up from their passive lull and throw them into full-throttle frenzy. Frontman Patrick Kindlon sincerely jests that Glasgow is his favourite city before belting through some seriously relentless, rowdy racket that has people jumping and banging their heads vigorously. In the closing moments of their set they stop the song, and Kindlon screams “We’re fucking Drug Church!” and drops his mic, completing a really entertaining, frantic set.

Microwave [8] seem to attract a headline capacity audience, something confirmed by the burst of movement when they enter the stage. Somewhere between a hardcore/indie sound with a Citizen-esque feel and some gritty alternative rock tones, the Atlanta group seem an instant hit with the crowd, who are really putting some welly and getting the entire room jumping. Voices are at full capacity as the band gloss over some pulsating, up-and-down tracks like ‘Vomit’ and ‘Whimper’, delivering a really captivating, enjoyable set.

Now that the supports have had their chance in the spotlight, Boston Manor [9] are ready to be unleashed. Poles of vivid red neon lights flash all across the stage as the five-piece emerge to the only song that makes sense to start with – their new album’s opening title-track. The crowd is already pushing forward in an attempt to get rowdy and riled, and as the band snap into the emphatic and punchy ‘Flowers In Your Dustbin’, the pit opens and the bustle begins.

The band have clearly come fully packed to the brim with pedals, as the unnerving, spinning guitar sounds on ‘England’s Dreaming’ smoothly ease in, before the chant of “Bury me” from the crowd drowns out everything. The gig-goers are really up for this one, and Henry Cox‘s colourful vocals are guided by a few hundred extra voices bursting their lungs to be heard. What we can hear of the Cox‘s voice is excellent, and his delivery is confidently consistent.

As some guy in front of us loudly says to his mate, “I hope they play some older stuff”, the band duly reply by jumping into their debut ‘Be Nothing.’ single, ‘Lead Feet’, which sends half of the room into a bit of chaos. So good is the newer material that you almost forget a large majority of the music that came before it, yet the band seem to equally love playing it, and are enjoying the enthusiasm of this vibrant crowd who’re giving a lot of love for some older material.

Back in with a shed load of their new stuff, the pissed off ‘Hate You’, the hook filled ‘Stick Up’, and ‘Tunnel Vision’ are all as stormy live as they are on the LP. Moving forward, as the stomping and noisy chorus of the anthemic ‘Bad Machine’ pounds in its driving distortion, the room bounces as bodies tumble into each other, all before the scorching melodies of ‘Funeral Party’ keeps the unrelenting energy going, almost testing the stamina of those in the pit.

As they wrap things up with the guessable climax of ‘Laika’ and sing-along ‘Halo’, a fantastic night of live music is drawn to an epic, hugely satisfying conclusion. Boston Manor are not only capable of creating a fantastic album in ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’, but they can also smash out a mighty good live show too.