Where: The Underworld, London
When these five young lads from Blackpool dawdle onto stage, dressed down and double checking their instruments, the atmosphere is electric. Boston Manor only have a couple of EPs to their name, but the crowd reaction is that of a headline band. From the first melodic chord and impassioned vocal, people throw themselves to the front, clamour at the microphone and (attempt to, thanks to the unnecessarily burly security) stage dive in frenzied adoration. This is beyond what any support band bargains for, and it’s great to see the British underground is still alive, here, tonight, thanks to bands like Boston Manor.
Canadians Seaway are next up on the bill tonight and, with the openers setting such a high bar, there’s a lot of pressure to keep energy flowing. Luckily, Seaway are more than up to the task. They play a tight set, hurtling through each song with unrelenting gusto, whipping the crowd into a more and more excited state every time they ramp it up another notch as they flit between tracks from their latest album, including pop-punk sing-a-longs ‘Freak’ and ‘Slam’, and older hits such as tongue-in-cheek ‘Your Best Friend’ and punchy ‘Alberta’. With stellar songs and an effortless live performance, Seaway can’t go wrong.
Pop-punk band Knuckle Puck released their debut album Copacetic last year and, boy, what an album! One of the few genuine gems of our recent pop-punk world, Copacetic wowed fans all the way from the band’s hometown of Chicago to London, UK, where they play a sold-out show at Camden’s The Underworld tonight.
We’re expecting a live performance just as dazzling for Knuckle Puck’s overseas headline debut and, while it’s hard to create fireworks in a dark, dingy underground venue, this pop-punk quartet are determined to do their best. And, despite a few technical hiccups- the blinding spotlight that makes it impossible to actually see the band at points, for example-, they do a pretty good job.
With the bulk of their set made up from Copacetic, we’re treated to one banger after another, boosting tonight’s impressive standard even higher. We hate to say it, but the songs begin to blur into one big riot of pop-punk- except for the real diamond moments that stand out and keep the looming fear of monotony at bay. The hidden surprise of track ‘Bedford Falls’ delights older fans to the point of elation, while fantastic new hits, such as the lively ‘True Contrite’ and melancholic punk ballad ‘In Your Crosshairs’, show that Knuckle Puck are a worthy addition to this ever up-and-coming genre.
Warning us that there will be no encore, Knuckle Puck encourage a final outpouring of energy for the last couple of songs. The crowd unfolds into a messy, confused ramble of discord for one of Copacetic’s best tunes ‘Pretense’ before cooling off and shuffling awkwardly to the echoing chorus of ‘Untitled’. Knuckle Puck aren’t going to change the world but, with their inventive, exciting tunes and a solid live show, they are a real fresh face for pop-punk.