Slaves - Bristol, Thekla - 13th May 2015 Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Richards   
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 02:20

You may not have heard of Slaves, and if that is the case I can only surmise you've been living under a (classic) rock the last six months or so.

 

Born in the garden of England, Slaves is a four-legged punk-rock-explosion that break all the rules about looking and acting cool/tough (delete as appropriate) in favour of two and half minute bursts of goon-faced lunacy and riff-filled pure joy they call songs.

 

Picked up by Virgin EMI last year after a couple of well received independent EPs, the band have been involved in a flurry of publicity (for all the right reasons) in the run up to their full album debut release on June 1st. Massive radio coverage, big name festivals and even a slot on the BBC's flagship music show Later… has ensured that this little jaunt around the UK for the Kentish duo is incredibly well attended, and tonight's show was displaying the ‘sold out’ signs within hours of going on sale.

 

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An expectant packed house welcome the two-piece, and as he takes his place behind a very basic drum kit Issac Holman makes a straight forward declaration,“BRISTOL! Let’s all have a very, very silly time together…!” From that point in it's a sixty minute punk rock knees-up as the band tear through their repertoire, each number as infectiously chugging, simple (and often amusing) as the next.

 

'Where's Your Car Debbie' is about the time Issac walked a girl to her car whilst the estate on which he dwelled was in the grips of a ‘Big Foot’ scare he informs us, 'She Grew Old' is a tale of “you know some people don't ever learn to keep their pants on…”, and their love letter to the capital, 'Cheer up London', brings yet another relentless mass singalong; “you're dead already, dead, dead already” chant 300 or so people on a boat; surreal? Nah, it's punk rock in 2015, and the assembly wonderfully displays a very wide age range which suggests that, contrary to a hundred articles you may have read this last year, rock is far from dead, in fact it's pulsating like an exposed beating heart on Thekla tonight, and any number of revellers enjoy crowd surfing on its very flesh.

 

Among the surfers is guitar man Laurie Vincent, who had set his instrument down in favour of a packet of biscuits (Hobnobs, I believe!) which he distributes to the waves of fans on which he rides, giving the whole thing a wonderful over-whelming sense of downright ridiculousness!

 

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The unbounded sense of fun on display is such a wonderful trait in a band in these times where so often it seems we could be over-run by waxed facial hair-wearing, vintage clothes-shopping poseurs. Not for Slaves is anything so trivial as stage clothing, instead the intensity is focussed on more great, snappy songs like 'Hey' and 'The Hunter', each one thrown out with flippant confidence, and the epic 'Feed the Mantaray' even features an unfortunate crew member in the cheapest mantaray costume (if not the only) in existence, hurling himself into a baying crowd!

 

Barely an hour passed, and it felt like much less in all honesty, such was the energy and excitement created by two young guys from Kent that an hour was quite enough (for this old timer at any rate) before a packed-out crowd realised they really needed some fresh air.

 

There's nothing complicated about Slaves and there doesn't need to be, their songs jab at you quickly before whacking you square on the button like some bastard offspring of The Ramones and Ian Dury, leaving you with a spinning head and a grin wider than the Bristol Channel. With a debut album out on June 1st it's looking rosy for Slaves, catch 'em if you get the chance!

 

To visit the Slaves store on Amazon - CLICK HERE