LIVE REVIEW: The Dirty Nil @ Boston Music Rooms, London (28/09/2018)

Credit: Vanessa Heins

Date: September 28th 2018
Venue: Boston Music Rooms, London
Support: Weatherstate / The Winter Passing


If you want a straight up rock ‘n’ roll band who ooze swagger, fun, and most importantly have brilliant songs, look no further than the fun-loving Ontario outfit, The Dirty Nil. Their second album ‘Master Volume’ is fairly fresh off the mixing desk, but you already feel that it’s gone down a storm to anyone who’s listened.

For their London headliner, UK’s very own Weatherstate [7] open proceedings. The often ridiculed genre of pop-punk has had a handful of solid releases in recent years, however, currently it’s something that’s sorely lacking some form of bite at large. Thankfully, Weatherstate offer plenty of that, and the band’s solid performance is assisted by Harry Hoskins‘ gritty vocal delivery.

Dublin’s self-described hook heavy indie pop outfit The Winter Passing [5] are next up. If you were to grade them solely on their affability, charm, and stage banter they would pass the test with flying colours. It’s hard to dislike this lot, but unfortunately, there’s something painfully lacking with the songs. A two-pronged vocal delivery from siblings Kate and Rob Flynn promises a lot on paper, but sadly does not incite a great deal.

But, the act that does incite a great deal, and whom everyone present in the room cares about the most at this moment in time, is The Dirty Nil [8]. The band walk onstage, ready to bring their anthems of reckless abandon to a pumped up crowd, with guitarist and frontman Luke Bentham in his trademark jacket. The bubblegum will make an appearance later on, of course.

Opening with the first three tracks of their new album, ‘Master Volume’, they exude confidence. Surely not many people here will completely relate to lyrics such as “Rolling through the windshield / That’s what heaven feels like”, but in a world where many musos are self-important, precious little petals who take themselves so damn seriously, The Dirty Nil are the kind of people you’d choose to have in your company.

The cuts from 2016’s ‘Higher Power’ go down equally well, such as ‘No Weaknesses’. They’ve cultivated a small but very dedicated fanbase, shouting back every word. To be at the beer soaked, jubilant section of the crowd by the barrier looks like the best time in the world, and mosh pits break out to tracks like the punk rock brilliance of ‘Please, Please Me’.

Their cover of Metallica‘s ‘Hit The Lights’ manages to make its way into the setlist too, and you can no doubt probably picture the mayhem that ensues. The Dirty Nil then dedicate their final song ‘Bury Me At The Rodeo’ to a recently passed away fan, which is a lovely touch to say the least.

Based purely on the strength of their songs, it feels heavily unjustified that their last performance in London was at the New Cross Inn (virtually a pub), and they are playing the small Boston Music Room tonight. The Dirty Nil should be playing to much bigger crowds than this. If they can scoop up a Juno award back home, they certainly have potential to gain similar acclaim on these shores.