Saturday, August 16, 2014

SLAVES, Live at the Wagon and Horses

After watching the amazing God Damn playing in the tiny upstairs room, it was now dark and the YR Welcome Brum Headliners SLAVES were taking to the stage. Slaves are probably the last band you'd expect to find on a major label record deal, as it happens though, the reasons why are obvious when you see them live. The fact is SLAVES play a take on punk rock that actually seems fresh and unique. It might be partly how they dress, apart from the tattoos they look properly dapper. they look cool, but with a slight sense of irony that matches the sarcasm of the songs. It might be partly that their singer (if you can call him that) is their drummer too. He bashes on his bass drum while snarling and shouting like smartest dressed ape you've ever seen.  It also might be that they've got a charisma none of their peers share. For 'Girl Fight' their now shirtless front-man walked into the crowd to tell the story that inspired the song. Although the lyrics pretty much explain it all themselves "GIRL FIGHT!... I don't Want to get too close, my shoes are new my shirt is white", and after all that buildup for the song. Girl Fight lasts all of 15 seconds. Despite being a headline slot the set only lasted about half an hour. As the two rude boys from 'Royal Tunbridge Wells' sung about Bigfoot on 'Where's your Car Debbie' girls fighting and relationship politics on 'White Knuckle Ride'. Which stands out as a brilliant song, featuring the chorus.  'I like you more when your angry with me, Cos your so boring when you're nice'. By the end some bloke had come on stage to sing with them a guy who looked like Gary Barlow- If Gary Barlow had never become a pop star and ended up an Ex-con instead. Whoever he was he sung well and was clearly a good mate of the bands.
Afterwards i had a look around the merch stand and found that they were giving away free badges and bottle openers. the t shirts and vinyls had been left unprotected all day. I told the guy manning the stand that Slaves were awesome and that he should tell them I said so.

At the moment Punk bands either seem to be of the poppy variety that teenage girls listen to, or the serious variety that have beards and refuse to even pretend  that they'd like a bit of success for fear of selling out. SLAVES are the punk band we need right now, like all the best punk bands of the 70's  they're here to take the piss and have fun. The future sound of punk has arrived.

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