I have been to three gigs, since my last gig review and not posted once. Oops. I’ve learnt that if I don’t write these posts immediately after the gig, then I loose the (shudder at how cringe this word is) ‘essence’ of it.
Either which way, on Friday night I got to see four bands play within the hallowed halls of Brixton Academy. I’ll tell you this for half price, each band ascended the one before it.
Roam, a south coast pop punk band were first, and were like overly caffeinated spaniels with guitars. Their drums were far too loud, but they were energetic and were good warmers.
Hands Like Houses are a band I’d never previously heard of. In all fairness, they are from Canberra. I loved them, I’ve been listening to their 2016 album, Dissonants all weekend. Their lyrics are a bit pop-ish at times, i.e. their song Colourblind. However, I think you’ll all find them as surprisingly impressive as I did.
Next, and certainly not lost in the line up were Young Guns. These were a lot of the reason we bought these tickets, and that actually seemed pretty true for most the crowd. I’m a massive fan of their album, Bones, but hadn’t been keeping up with them. I’m about to change that. They had a long set for a support band, 9 songs in all, and a complete mix of the old and the new. Mad World was a wicked building song to open with. Buried, also off their 2016 album Echoes, indicates an impressive move into electronic rock, and perhaps a step closer to a Fall Out Boy likeness. Representing older albums, they played Bulletproof, You are Not and a crowd-unifying Bones.
Young Guns feel like they’ve paid their dues now, Gustav Wood is one of the best vocalists in rock at the moment, and I think their next album is going to be an incredible success. They announced a September UK headline tour, for which I certainly think I’ll be attending.
So, at a very Rock and Roll 9:50, Lower Than Atlantis took the stage one-by-one, and immediately launched into Had Enough. They started fucking stroooohoooong, bleeding immediately into Dumb featuring some typical Mike Duce embellishments. I think there was a little anxiety that their opening was too top heavy, and had killed the audience. Alas, no. I have the bruises to prove it.
Emily, Ain’t No Friend, Could Be Worse and then Stays the Same were all fun, middle section songs. Get Over It created fucking havoc in the crowd. Inc. me being dragged through the crowd, attached to a crowdsurfer by my hair. Work For It was another crowd favourite, having been released almost 8 months before the album.
Words Don’t Come So Easily was a lovely breather -and belter- for the crowd, and Boomerang was a solid -if not predictable- closing song.
Safe in Sound is a fucking decent album, but sometimes I’m not entirely sold on LTA’s lyrics. A Night to Forget, could easily have been a One Direction song. That may support why I felt like the oldest person in the room. (Legit thought there was a school trip going on- potentially more of a comment on my age, rather than anyone else’s). Had Enough has got some wicked electric guitar and crashing drums, and I love the depression of I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore, (which sadly was not played).
They’re an unpretentious, pretty blunt band, and perhaps what Safe in Sound is missing is some complexities, but they’re fucking good fun. LTA’s production was a bit gimmicky for my taste. i.e. they had big projections of the stage behind them, which is something I just don’t associate with Brixton, more the O2 and Take That. I thought they’d stay classic like their single covers.
Spearhead and all-round degenerate Mike Duce makes his audience work. At one point he declared he was getting old, and told the crowd to sit down. Of course, we all did.
Now, Brixton academy staff are pretty cool; but LTA definitely proved to be a challenge to their authority. The crowd were just fucking rampant, and that is entirely due to Duce and his (humorous) stage style. The combination of soft voice, loud songs, vulgar language and common boy accent, is oddly charismatic. On a personal note from me to Mike Duce, I don’t know how you stay up their in those sweatshirts, man. I was a walking-talking, sweat-flavoured wet wipe on the way out.
3 songs from older albums were our encore. Personally, I thought this was odd and sorta proved they did start new-album top-heavy. Regardless, it was a night of bedlam, that is associated with Brixton. The crowd were pure havoc, amps were thrown into the crowd, and crowdsurfing (including Duce), was incessant.
Lower Than Atlantis are a reminder of my fuck-you youth and my current flailing attempt at adulthood. I’m not entirely sure how to caption what a fucking good, let-loose band these guys are live. You just can’t argue with it.
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