REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Twelve Beers For Slaves: Bone-Shaking Show From The UK’s Loudest Group

“We’re Slaves, and we’re from Tonbridge Wells. Now shut the f**k up, it’s our rock concert.”

tumblr_md8l9jDAXT1rpu1yjo1_1280With this, the booze-soaked Old Blue Last played host to two-piece Slaves, their simplistic but deafening music making ears bleed and fists pump. A band as confident and charismatic as any I’ve ever seen, fractured the thrashed tracks of ‘Beauty Quest’ and ‘Ceasefire’ with casual converse between stage and audience, the important topics of favourite jacket potato toppings and best Hob Nob flavour coming to the fore. Sharing the frontman duties, Isaac (drums) and Laurie (guitar) have found a modest balance between chaotic drumming and searing power-chords. The noise created is far more substantial than the instrument list suggests (two drums, two cymbals, two voices, one guitar) – especially on the ten-second long ‘Girlfight’. Comparable to early Gallows material, Slaves have produced some outstanding punk rock tracks – each as raucous and frills-free as the one before. It’s their affability that sets them apart from other groups however, with their tongue-in-cheek approach to both song writing and performing arguably their finest drawing point. With song lyrics as banal as they are brilliant (“Where’s your car Debbie? Debbie where’s your car?”), there is no façade or vanity to Slaves. The resurgence of rock music (that rock n’ roll, it just won’t go away) and the current prevalence of two-piece bands leaves Slaves in a bit of a quandary; “what differentiates you to everything else out there at the moment?”. Quite simply, it’s their live show. Their songs are good, but their recorded material isn’t – yet – as good as that of Drenge or Royal Blood. Seeing them in concert it a different story however. Their comfortable stage presence, with abilities to find interest in the most mundane of topics, provides a level of entertainment that extends beyond their music. It’s almost like the We Are Scientists syndrome; the break between tracks is almost on par with the music you’ve paid to see played. This is by no means a criticism. It’s definitely a compliment. Especially when you consider the music is only going to get better.