Date: April 6th, 2015
Venue: The Joiners, Southampton
Support: We Deny / The Bottom Line / MC Lars
With the spring Southampton sun blazing away, a bustling crowd gathers outside The Joiners, eagerly awaiting the four different takes on the punk genre. Having gone through four years of an intense physics degree, I often see the world as sets of numbers and equations. Take tonight’s gig for example: the genres on the bill tonight can be summarised with the following equation Punk(Rock + Pop + Rap + Ska). Don’t judge me, I can’t control it.
It’s never easy being the first band on stage, but We Deny (***) almost instantly turn a sparsely populated room into a heaving one. This female fronted five-piece are just what Paramore used to sound like. No, scratch that, make that better than what Paramore used to sound like. Their songs are tight and well-constructed, with the guitars on a level to that of Dream Theatre, adding a surprisingly technical aspect to their set. Though they’re still in their early stages and are building the confidence to truly own a crowd, We Deny‘s music is more than capable of drawing a crowd on its own.
Think the music of Sum 41 and New Found Glory delivered with the boyish, lovable antics of Blink-182, and you get The Bottom LineWheatus‘ hit ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ and Slipknot‘s ‘Spit It Out’ crouch and jump technique, and the crowd is theirs to control. Clearly these cheeky chappies have played many a-gig and are the ideal support slot.
Looking around the room, half the shirts are either for the headline act or the Poe-Flower MC Lars (*****), and as soon as the latter takes the stage, the crowd goes nuts. Lars delivers a short yet totally flawless set that’s peppered with the classics, such as ‘Signing Emo’ and ‘Mr. Raven’ as well as the première of his new Game of Thrones themed song, ‘Dragon Blood’. Ending the set on ‘This Gigantic Robot Kills’ with a special appearance from Suburban Legends, things simply couldn’t have gone better.
At a punk rock show, you wouldn’t expect to dance your ass off – pogoing aside, of course. That is until you’ve been to a Suburban Legends (*****) show, where the crowds gather and do nothing else but dance their fucking asses off, not out of choice, but out of reflex to their incredible, catchy-as-hell songs.
Choreographed dance routines, wonderful stage antics, hilarious crowd interactions and the songs. Oh my god, the songs. With material old (‘Hey DJ’) and new (‘Forever In The Friendzone’), the crowd are a sweaty jig-monster throughout. Then came the ska punk Disney covers, which utterly destroy the room. Though there are one or two technical hiccups, the crowd don’t care one bit through the spectacular showmanship of this superb sextet.
Written by Andy Roberts (@Sassensquatch)