Thursday 25th January 2024
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SLAM DUNK WINTER JAM – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW
📸 (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!
MILLIE MANDERS AND THE SHUTUP
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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