Live Reviews

Lake Malice

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Saturday 9th March 2024

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📸 (C) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

There isn’t many new bands currently with a similar level of buzz as Lake Malice. Impressive support shows and memorable festival slots have already won them a dedicated fan base and their debut EP won even more plaudits including winning our own ‘EP of the Year’ Award last year!

The band are presently in the midst of their debut headline tour and tonight that finds them at the Waterfront Studio in Norwich and there aren’t many tickets left. Once inside the venue you get a true sense of the anticipation with fans filling the front to save their spot, and soon those fans are greeted by local openers Omega Bad.


Despite some good old fashioned technical difficulties the band leave it all out on the stage and deliver a compelling opening set. With moments of ferocity and finery diligently dispersed, there is plenty to enjoy during their time on stage and it’s very apparent that the crowd agrees.


The opening third of this tour features TheCityIsOurs in the main support slot and there are clearly a few of their own fans in the audience this evening. The band have been chucking out some outrageously good new tunes recently and again expectation is high.

Sadly those gremlins that toyed with Omega Bad take things to another level and almost completely sabotage TheCityIsOurs. With only one song down, it reaches a point whereby all resign themselves to a missed opportunity. What transpires though is something special with guitarist Mikey Page serenading the fans with toned-down versions of songs which the crowd truly appreciate.

Thankfully the group are able to remove the gremlins in time to quickly deliver a handful of all-out rippers to finish their set and show the packed crowd what they should expect next time around. The band deserve credit for persevering and those in attendance will surely be waiting patiently for their return.


Doors were early tonight and with an early finish due to a club night, time is running short. It doesn’t take long for our headliners to hit the stage and thankfully Lake Malice avoid any of the issues which plagued our opening acts.

If you were to put money on an act to breakout in the heavy world over the next year or so, you’d expect a lot of smart money to be put on Lake Malice. As we’ve touched on they’ve already done the legwork required to establish themselves as a must see act and now that message is being spread far and wide.

Tonight, they explode on to the stage with ‘Black Turbine’ and ‘Bloodbath’ showing their ungodly energy and whipping the audience into a frenzy. That level of intensity doesn’t drop at any point with even the two new tracks in the set going off big time.

That debut EP ‘Post-Genesis’ has shown what the group can achieve but as the evening progresses you can’t help but contemplate that this is only the beginning! Indeed, the future of the band feels huge and that future is going to be built on the foundations of their incredible live shows.

With just that one EP and a handful of standalone singles in their arsenal the set is relatively short, but at this unrelenting pace you’d probably need an oxygen tank to keep up with the band. The finale of ‘Stop the Party’ and ‘Blossom’ ends the evening in fierce and passionate fashion and word of these shows is surely bound to spread.

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Live Reviews

Noah and the Loners

Voodoo Daddy’s, Norwich

Thursday 15th February 2024

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music


No matter where you look these days the world is a mess. The political landscape is bewildering, the news is horrifying, the economy is a disaster and communities are being divided for the benefit of those creating the mess in the first place.

It’s at times like these that communities need to stay resolute and, to steal from a popular post-punk band, use joy as an act of resistance. Punk has always led the way on this front and there are thankfully some great young bands out there building that sense of community back.


It’s in venues like Voodoo Daddy’s in Norwich where this war is being waged, and that’s where we head tonight to witness the emerging force that is Noah and the Loners!

On first this evening are young sibling duo Broken Promises who embody the DIY punk ethos perfectly. Their career may be in the embryonic stages but their rough around the edges ruckus shows its own promise and gets a good response from the early attendees.


The main support slot is taken by local alt-rockers Settlements who represent a cleaner, more technical prospect compared to the rest of the bill. Their sound encompasses a number of influences but they give off real early-QOTSA vibes.

Yes, whilst they may appear and sound more straight-edge then our headliners, they still have an enchanting quirk that reminisces of Biffy Clyro at their ludicrous best. Their time on stage flies by, which is always a good sign and it will be interesting to see where the group can take their talents.


There seems to be a consensus forming on where our headline act are going, with little doubt remaining that Noah and the Loners have everything needed to truly breakthrough. With their debut EP coming imminently, and a fanbase growing with every show, this has the potential to be one of those “I was there” moments!

The band only have four tracks available on Spotify but they already have a healthy crowd in a decent sized grassroots venue many of which are adorned in Noah and the Loners t-shirts. When you speak of good signs, this is absolutely one of the most trustworthy ones.

It doesn’t take long for the band to justify the hype as they blitz through their opening few songs with a youthful energy that will get even the most battle-tested old punk up and down the front.

And many do! The crowd clearly have their finger on the pulse and are up for a fun night of genuinely rallying punk rock stories of finding the way through the challenges faced by young people.

The closing run of ‘Hell of a Day’, ‘Crash Landing’ and ‘Protest Anger’ is as good as it gets and provides a glimmer of hope that for as long as communities such as this remain defiant, then there is still hope for the future.

Noah and the Loners will soon release that debut EP and those switched on enough to be here tonight will soon be able to proclaim “I was there” at the very beginning!

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Live Reviews

Laurence Jones

The Apex, Bury St. Edmunds

Sunday 4th February 2024

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music


The British Blues scene is booming and it’s young acts like Laurence Jones that are leading the charge. Tonight finds Jones taking over The Apex in Bury St. Edmunds, a beautiful venue which with its stylish look and unique ability to mix a predominantly seated audience with a handful of standing spaces make it an ideal venue for this style of music.


The venue whilst intimate gives a grand feeling to the show and makes it a more elegant evening than a standard dark and packed-in venue would. Something which opening act Sweet Crisis use to their advantage as they fill the room with their iridescent blues rock sound.

The Cambridge five-piece have the audience in the palm of their collective hands as they serenade them with graceful guitar licks and stylish songs such as ‘Ain’t Got Soul’ and ‘Misty Haze’ from their debut album, ‘Tricks On My Mind’. Their set is mesmerizingly good and flashes by in an instant. Indeed by the time they finish with the title track of that album they’ve etched themselves into the consciousness of the attentive audience.


A short turnaround soon finds our headliner Laurence Jones and his band arriving onstage to an anticipant applause. The group jump straight in with last year’s rocking single ‘You’re Not Alone’ which instantly showcases the controlled intensity that will define the evening.

A true power trio, Jones and co are able to bring his songs to life and add even greater depth to the likes of ‘Gone Away’ and ‘In Too Deep’. The threesome give off enormous Jimi Hendrix Experience vibes throughout which materialises with a stunning cover of ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ towards the back end of the ninety minute performance.

The bulk of the set tonight is made up of recent album, ‘Bad Luck & The Blues’ which sees Jones’ virtuosic guitar work at the fore. The album is a real modern meshing of blues and rock and the songs work incredibly well live. So much so that a good old fashioned standing ovation entices Jones to deliver an encore finale of Lead Belly favourite ‘Good Morning Blues’.

As fans file out of the venue they are left to reminisce about a superb evening of the blues with two acts waving the flag of British blues music. The scene really is flourishing and it will be interesting to see where the likes of Laurence Jones take it next.

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Live Reviews

Saint Agnes

Voodoo Daddy’s, Norwich

Tuesday 30th January 2024

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music


It’s Independent Venue Week and our lifeblood of grassroots music venues are celebrating the community and experience that these rooms provide us. Our escape from the scary realities of life, the breeding ground for the next big thing, without independent music venues the whole ecosystem of the industry is broken.

It’s incredibly tough out there for these venues, it’s becoming more and more difficult to survive and that is adding to the pressures on young acts trying to prove themselves. Not all is lost though and it’s incredibly refreshing to see this show is sold out!

Tonight is exciting for a number of reasons, of course our headliners Saint Agnes are an enticing prospect as is our support act BEX, but tonight is also the first gig at this newly relocated venue.

Voodoo Daddy’s has been building its name over the past few years and has now given itself an upgrade across town. Unlike the old venue with its music room upstairs, here we head down into the basement and can see the makings for an essential stop off for new acts in Norwich!


Up first is BEX, who immediately and ferociously grabs the crowd by the horns and commands their attention. The three-piece create one hell of a noise as they conduct a valuable test on the buildings infrastructure!

Last year’s cutting debut EP ‘SCUM’ is at the heartbeat of her set tonight and the likes of ‘Filthy’, ‘Trust No One’ and ‘SPDYD4 K1NG’ truly create a primeval connection between BEX and the energetic audience. Let’s face it though, it’s hard not to let go when faced with the otherworldly force emanating from the stage.

BEX ends her set with a new single and you’d imagine that 2024 is set to be a big one for an artist with the youthful tenacity required to thrive in the current landscape.


Another band that has been thriving of late is Saint Agnes, our headliners this evening. Last year saw the group launch their new era with ‘Bloodsuckers’ and they’ve been building momentum ever since. It’s always good to see a show like tonight sell out and that indicates that their support slots with the likes of Skindred and their festival appearances are paying dividends in terms of new fans.

Of course everyone knows the band here tonight and as they propel themselves into opening duo ‘Bloodsuckers’ and ‘Animal’, you instantly feel the intensity levels turned up a notch.

The crowd have been up for it all night and they really ramp the energy levels up as the evening progresses. ‘Bloodsuckers’ really is an album built to be enjoyed live and the likes of ‘I Mean Nothing to You’ and ‘At War With Myself’ go down particularly well.

The Saint Agnes live experience is a visceral, in your face one and singer Kitty Austen is able to enthral the audience with mystifying ease. Indeed, the new breed of rock band is able to create a sense of something bigger than just the music, be that the community around the band or the aesthetic and presence of their artistry.

Our headliners seem to be well on the way with both of those points and again if you were looking to put your money on rocks next stars you’d have to think it’s more than worth a punt on Saint Agnes!

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Live Reviews

Slam Dunk Winter Jam

Waterfront, Norwich

Thursday 25th January 2024

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📸 (C) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

January is always a touring wasteland, with most fans nursing festive hangovers and following a month of sobriety. This year however Slam Dunk have decided to kickstart 2024 and truly get the party started with their ‘Winter Jam’ Tour!


Tonight the circus rolls into the Waterfront in Norwich and literally getting the party started are local favourites Millie Manders and the Shutup! The opening slot on a four band bill with doors as early as 18:30, may not usually be all that it’s cracked up to be. Manders and co though have absolutely no problem whatsoever in getting the crowd up to the desired level.

Manders and co have a strong following tonight and they make the most of their short opening set with the likes of ‘Rebound’ and ‘Bitter’ getting everyone dancing and singing along. ‘Bacchus’ encourages everyone to “have another drink”, and not being the only drink themed song of the evening probably ruins a fair few dry January’s!

The band are a force of fun-inducing nature and are the ideal band to open up a line-up such as this. Equally our next act [spunge] are well versed in getting a crowd to liven-up with their infectious pop-punk revelry.


Songs such as ‘Jump on Demand’ and ‘Skanking Song’ are built with a purpose and the Norwich crowd are more than happy to oblige this evening. When you throw in a cover of ‘Monkey Man’ and the bands signature song ‘Kicking Pigeons’, you get another super fun set from a band that can only be described as underground national treasures!


The bands selected by Slam Dunk for this tour are all regulars at the summer spectacular, except for the main support act Teenage Bottlerocket. The group did play this past summer but they are a much rarer prospect for UK fans and the good folk of Norwich certainly seem appreciative of the chance to bang their heads to their intense punk rockers.

As expected, the pace is unrelenting throughout their time on stage and people’s ear drums may take a little while to recover. That’s down to the pure velocity of their sonic onslaught which is rough, ready and able to hypnotise a punk from 1000 metres!


The changeovers are relatively quick tonight which doesn’t allow much respite for the audience, but that also means that the four band bill breezes by. Three fun sets down already, and the crowd are ready for their pop punk heroes Zebrahead to bring proceedings to a close.

The group are more than capable of topping a line-up such as this and more than prepared to deliver the knockout blow that will destroy any remaining festive hangovers. They kick off their set with ‘When Both Sides Suck, We’re All Winners’, ‘No Tomorrow’ and ‘Hello Tomorrow’ which sets their pace early on.

Again, as expected, because you know what you are going to get on the Slam Dunk Winter Jam, that pace never really drops. There is no lethargy in the crowd and their hour or so on the Waterfront stage is a joyous celebration of both Zebrahead and the pop punk movement. Whilst the genre may be maligned by certain sections of the musical elite – a night like this will always produce a fun evening of frivolity!

An encore of ‘All My Friends Are Nobodies’ and ‘Falling Apart’ is the perfect cherry on top of the pop punk cake. Tonight that four-tiered cake has been tasty as hell and Slam Dunk have perhaps baked something up which could become as traditional as dry January!

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Live Reviews

Don Broco

UEA LCR, Norwich

Saturday 2nd December 2023

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music


Don Broco are currently finishing out their ‘Amazing Things’ cycle with another trek around the UK and tonight that places them at the UEA LCR in a frostbitten Norwich. Anticipation is clearly high for a fantastic three band bill and the venue is already raring to go as our opening act take to the stage.


All the way from Australia are nu-metal progeny Ocean Grove, they bring a little sunshine with them to get the crowd warmed up! Tracks like ‘Cali Sun’ and ‘Sunny’ don’t just fit the analogy but truly do get the audience moving and interacting from the very start.

The group are able to deliver their set with absolute assurity and given the traditional show of hands highlights many previously uninitiated amongst the crowd, you’d imagine that their confidence pays off tonight with the recruitment of a new horde of followers!


Playing as main support on this great line-up is St.Albans band Trash Boat. With their most recent album, ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’, the band took their sound to a whole new level and that album makes up the majority of the set tonight. The likes of ‘Silence Is Golden’ and ‘Bad Entertainment’ help them to ensure that the crowd’s incredible early energy doesn’t wane.

Vocalist Tobi Duncan says that a new album is on the way and tonight new tracks ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ and ‘Liar Liar’ both get airings which are well received. The final trio of ‘Alpha Omega’, ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’ and ‘He’s So Good’ is a great way to close out their time on stage as Trash Boat leave their fans excited for more new music and a headline tour in the not too distant future!


The dancefloor at the LCR is packed full as Don Broco take to the stage and bodies instantly start bouncing as they kick their set off with ‘Gumshield’, ‘Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan’ and ‘ACTION’.

As you’d expect from a tour supporting ‘Amazing Things’, that album features heavily tonight but there is a nice mix of old and new material in the setlist as the band celebrate a decade (plus one) of debut album, ‘Priorities’.

The Don Broco back catalogue at this point though is already quite absurd and it must be hard to select the setlist each night. It doesn’t matter which song is being played therefore, because the crowd lap up everything that Broco throw at them. The atmosphere is truly special tonight, and whilst the people of Norwich deserve credit, it’s obviously a indictment of where Don Broco are as a band.

Whether playing large festival stages, headlining arenas or playing these more intimate affairs, Broco always give it their all and create an epic experience for their fans. Case in point, the sight of a sweat-soaked crowd spinning their t-shirts over their heads during ‘T-Shirt Song’, despite it being -2°C outside!

And as the crowd disperses into the freezing cold night, you know that once again the Broco boys have delivered a night that will live long in the memory for those lucky enough to be in attendance.

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Live Reviews

Skinny Lister

Norwich Arts Centre

Thursday 30th November 2023

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music


Outside may be bitterly cold, but inside Norwich Arts Centre tonight there is the familiar warmth of community. That’s because those shanty punks Skinny Lister are in town for another uplifting evening of sing-a-long folk tales.


Country Blues duo The Molee Shakes are the first act to grace the stage this evening and set about showcasing their melancholic fuzz to the early attendees. The performance grows as it progresses and by the end they’ve certainly done enough to engage the crowd and start the show the right way.


After a short changeover five-piece ensemble Life Aquatic Band appear as our main support act. The band offer intrigue from the outset with their unique indie disco brand. Each of the three acts tonight offer something different which makes the evening an eclectic mix, but Life Aquatic Band in and of themselves are a delightful sonic jumble!

The musicianship is mightily impressive, the songs have something special about them, the set itself is slick and quirkily stylish and the overall package is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s no surprise therefore that come the climax of their time of stage, the audience appear desperate for more whilst offering a genuinely rousing ovation.


For many bands that would a difficult set to follow, but Skinny Lister are no average band and they’ve long asserted themselves into the most fun live band conversation. Tonight is simply another exhibit for the case of the prosecution.

From the word go, the band use every ounce of energy to rip through one stirring fan favourite to another. Clearly the likes of ‘Wanted’, ‘Tragedy in A Minor’, ‘Rattle & Roar’ and ‘Cathy’ were always destined to elicit positive responses from the audience. Tonight, though the band are also able to perform tracks from their latest album, ‘Shanty Punk’.

Now in our album review we called it the most ‘Skinny Lister’ Skinny Lister album, and that sentiment follows these songs onto the stage. All of ‘Arm Wrestling in Dresden’, ‘Company of the Bar’, ‘Mantra’ and ‘Unto the Breach’ fit perfectly into the well established setlist and all receive great reactions from a crowd having lots of fun.

Today saw the untimely departure of Pogues iconic frontman Shane MacGowan, and with a little over an hour until December arrives there’s a fitting tribute at the start of the encore with a superb rendition of ‘Fairytale Of New York’. The night then finishes with ‘Six Whiskies’ heralding one last sing-a-long moment.

At this point Skinny Lister are a guaranteed good time and you’d be a fool to miss them when they come to your town!

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Live Reviews

Holding Absence

Epic Studios, Norwich

Monday 27th November 2023

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📸 (C) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

Holding Absence frontman Lucas Woodland reminisces onstage tonight about the last time the band played in Norwich. Apparently only one ticket was sold! Well, tonight there are a fair few more in attendance as Epic Studios welcomes the Welsh rockers back to the city.


Opening proceedings on this tour are Floridians Dark Divine, who instantly grab your attention with both their striking presentation and their slick rock offerings. Yes, in an industry where it’s harder than ever to standout, Dark Divine manage to do just that tonight.

Considering this is the bands first ever trip to the UK, you’re left to imagine just what the band can go on to achieve? On the evidence of tonight, you’d have to conclude that their future is very bright indeed!


The international support bill continues next with Aussies Thornhill. The group have established their reputation over the past decade both in the studio and on the stage, and they now find themselves preparing for a fresh era. New single ‘Viper Room’ starts their set tonight and offers a glimpse of what’s to come.

Thornhill are undoubtedly the heaviest band on the bill this evening and as their set continues they manage to engage a central core of moshers who amplify the atmosphere somewhat. Clearly the band achieve their mission tonight and leave with more fans than they arrived with, and those fans will be eager to see what comes next.


What comes next tonight though is the moment that those who queued down road tonight have been waiting for, our headliners Holding Absence. When you speak of a band establishing themselves, you can’t help but to look at what this group has achieved in a relatively short span of time.

Many headline shows, support slots and festival appearances have built a reputation that is only enhanced by their ever-increasing back catalogue. Latest album, ‘The Noble Art of Self Destruction’ takes centre stage tonight and more than holds its own amongst favourites like ‘Gravity’ and ‘Wilt’.

The four-piece are able to command a respectable control over the audience who seem almost in awe of the majestic echo of their music. The magnificent acoustic rendition of ‘Like A Shadow’ is one of the highlights this evening, but truthfully the headline set flows by like a tsunami of sonic resonance.

An encore of ‘Celebration Song’, ‘Afterlife’ and ‘The Angel in the Marble’ is the icing on the cake, and the band leave promising to be back soon. With the growth of the band thus far, you’d have to expect an even bigger crowd will be waiting for them on their third trip to Norwich!

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Live Reviews

Massive Wagons

Epic Studios, Norwich

Tuesday 14th November 2023

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📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

The queue formed outside of Epic Studios in Norwich is a testament to the growing reputation of Massive Wagons. As is the observation of our photographer who last shot them as a support band in a pub in 2016 – “these wagons have become massive!”.

Yes the rise has been slow but steady for the Lancastrian five-piece with each album and each live show seeming to build momentum. Tonight marks the first night of their second tour in support of latest effort ‘Triggered!’, and the band have The New Roses in tow.


The German rockers have a similar pedigree to our headliners and their growing status will only swell further on the evidence of tonight. The group radiate a natural rock n’ roll elegance from the stage and singer Timmy Rough uses his understated charisma to engage the swathes of Massive Wagons t-shirts on standby for the headliners.

There is an effortless cool as the band showcase material from across their career including most recent album, ‘Sweet Poison’. Their forty-five minute slot flies by which is usually a good sign and they will have undoubtedly gained some new followers tonight.


Tonight probably isn’t going to be a night where Massive Wagons pick up many new fans as the crowd all appear well and truly initiated already. From the moment the band hit the stage with fan favourite, ‘Back to the Stack’ to the last strains of ‘It In Together’, the crowd are treated to the customary Massive Wagons experience.

That is a full throttle rock show with frontman Baz Mills playing the role of chief orchestrator to a tee. Mills flies around the stage, whipping up the crowd, whilst the band solidly unleash their rumbling alt-rock noise.

There are plenty of sing-a-longs in the setlist with the run of ‘Ratio’, ‘China Plates’, ‘Bangin in Your Stereo’ and ‘Nails’ particularly getting the audience going but there isn’t a relent in the pace of evening at any point. The songs from ‘Triggered!’ seem to get equal affection to older favourites, with the setlist well structured to keep that momentum going.

By the time it’s all said and done the crowd have clearly had a great time and both bands have delivered a memorable evening of rock for the fine residents of Norwich. You wouldn’t be surprised to see both bands continue building their momentum in the coming years, but Massive Wagons certainly appear to have established themselves on the circuit now as a safe bet for fans.

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Live Reviews

Millie Manders and the Shutup

The Reindeer, Norwich

Saturday 11th November 2023

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📸 (C) Denis Gorbatov

The autumnal sunshine that graced us today has given way to a cold evening as winter ensures that you know that it’s coming. It’s fitting perhaps then to head to The Reindeer in Norwich for a grassroots punk show.

It’s nights like this, in independent venues like this that the truest testaments to musical community transpire and tonight is sold out well in advance. The Norwich punk rock scene is clearly thriving and excited to welcome Millie Manders and the Shutup as they play a local show towards the end of a lengthy UK trek.


Up first are another local act The Cain Pit who deliver their punk with a bluegrass/country base. The outcome is thunderously good fun as the group do a commendable job of warming up those coming in from the cold.

A relatively new band The Cain Pit have the makings of a new live favourite with songs like ‘Roses’ and ‘Tapestry’ going down like that fifth shot of whiskey at your best friends wedding!


Our headline act tonight Millie Manders and the Shutup have already established themselves as live favourites and this year have backed that up with fantastic sets at the likes of Rebellion, Slam Dunk and Bearded Theory festivals.

As already touched upon, tonight finds the band almost at the end of a 17 date run with multiple sold out shows including tonight. It’s a great way to end a year that has seen Manders share the first tastes of new material since 2020’s debut album ‘Telling Truths, Breaking Ties’.

New tracks ‘Shut Your Mouth’ and ‘Rebound’ both sound huge tonight as the band deliver an hour or so of relentless punk intensity. There is clearly a connection between Manders and the audience that leads to a joyous atmosphere reverberating around the venue.

Playing as a three-piece tonight due to an ill bassist, the energy and fervour emanating from both the stage and the dancefloor extinguish any missing elements they as meld the aura of the evening into one big old party.

Inside venues like this all of the world’s troubles are temporarily pushed to the back of your mind. Even when the time comes to leave the venue and head into the frostbitten night, the memories of drinks flowing, mohawks dancing and Millie Manders and the Shutup delivering the goods provides a much needed glimmer of hope. That after all is the magic of live music.

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