I'd already had a very vague idea of who Smart Casual were before I saw them but I had no idea of what to expect. Truth is they're a lot more punk than pop-punk and a lot more Smart Aleck than Smart Casual. Their attitude summed up by their singer's quote "if anyone is offended by my language, fuck off, this is a rock show". Smart Casual could have easily headlined the bill. They bought along their fans (their shirt was worn proudly on the chest of some punters). They even bought their own in-jokes. Their human meme of a drummer, Nathan Talbot wore 'Talbot says... AVE IT!' on his shirt. Two very dedicated fans took it upon themselves to make it an amazing show by starting a two-man moshpit, taking their shirts off and waving them about.
Jokes aside they can play. Their lead guitarist can really shred. Their songs feel like anthems for a disenfranchised youth but without any of the preachiness* that usually comes with protest songs. Even their single 'Festival Girl' seemed more like a genuine story than just a song about a girl. They messed up a little bit at the end, and their other guitarist had walked off stage, amp in hand before the unexpected encore. But you know a bands good when the crowd demands an encore despite two other bands having yet to play. Their cover of Limp Bizkit, got me to turn my red cap backwards and join in the sudden and violent moshpit. My camera was OK, but my jaw wasn't. 7.2/10
met with a mix of awe and confusion. Though people actually seemed to like it this time, with some rather awkward dancing that you'll probably see in the video.
One new song 'Paralysed' is their take on Trap music. There's some properly dope beats on that track and I think it's the best thing they've done yet. The last two songs were admittedly 'Depressing as fuck'. While they possess a camaraderie and a sense of humour, The new song 'Storms' and 'Scared of the dark' were intense. 'Storms' has a refrain of 'there's a reason why, storms are named after people' and while the lyrics are pretty dark. It was taken to the next level by Dan's unnerving performance. One minute he was jumping around the next he was curled up in a ball under a table.
The show felt very unsettling all of a sudden.
Jason (their Beat-maker) has started to become less of just a beat-maker and more of an MC, delivering verses while wrapped up in a massive parka.
Crime and Punishment 2011 may be a bit marmiteish**, but no one else round here is doing anything like it. This was their best show yet and the signs show that they are honing their craft and developing their sound very quickly. Keep an eye out for the 'Clones' video. I'm the guy in the red hat. 7.6/10
*I think I just made that word up
** probably not a real word either