LIVE REVIEW: Puppy @ The Borderline, London (12/09/2018)

Credit: Promo

Date: September 12th 2018
Venue: The Borderline, London
Support: Grove Street Families
Website: None available


With the announcement of Puppy‘s debut album ‘The Goat’ fresh off the presses, it’s time for the hotly-tipped newcomers to tease some of the new material in a live setting, as well as play all of the older cuts that we know and love on their first headline tour of the UK.

Southampton’s Grove Street Families [7] are the only support act of the run. If you’re watching a band named after a fictional gang from the Grand Theft Auto gaming franchise, then expect a bit of a raucous set, as well as some fun. The band’s instantaneous brand of hardcore, combining the bounce of groups like Turnstile and Higher Power, as well as the thrash stylings of Metallica in their 80s peak certainly packs a punch.

Songs like the brilliantly titled ‘Right To Remain Violent’ showcase their heavier side, and it’s tempting to go down to the front to shove everyone into submission when ‘Stoned 2 Death’ is played, though sadly the room is still a little sparse come the end of their set.

Thankfully for Puppy [8], the crowd finally arrives by the time they take to the stage. Once some pink artificial flames are revealed, we’re reminded that this is a band who don’t exactly do things by halves, nor fit inside a neatly-formed box. Puppy get straight down to business from the get go, kicking things off with the instantly recognisable riff of ‘Entombed’.

Jock Norton‘s delicate voice combined with his huge sounding guitar riffs has proven to be somewhat of a unique selling point for Puppy, and this juxtaposition sounds just as hauntingly seductive as it does on their records. Billy Howard‘s drumming thunders through, and bassist Will Michael‘s backing vocals are also loud and clear, especially in ‘Black Hole’, a fresh song that could easily remain a mainstay of their set lists for years to come.

Other newer cuts ‘Just Like You’ and ‘World Stands Still’ sound massive, and, if those are just teasers of what’s to come on ‘The Goat’, then we can certainly expect a special debut album from the trio.

You can see plenty of head-banging from the crowd, and there are some audible sing-alongs to more well-known staples like ‘Arabella’ and ‘My Tree’. By the time fan favourite ‘Forever’ is played, the band walk off stage. What? Already? Puppy‘s nine-song set has flown by, concluded by an encore of ‘Demons’. Here’s hoping that they can play longer sets further down the line.

Puppy will have been around for four years by the time ‘The Goat’ hits the shelves and the world wide web, and, if there’s any justice, their hard work should see them play much bigger venues than this in no time.