When I turned up at The Garage in London on Friday night I was in for a bit of a shock. There was a queue! I can’t remember the last time I had to queue up for a gig. I wondered when did The Front Bottoms get so big? I mean it’s great for them and it’s well deserved but it did take me by surprise.
The opening band were one of the most talked about bands of the summer, Canada’s Pup. I haven’t had a chance to listen to Pup at the time but a friend I had made in the crowd named George described them as a Canadian Gnarwolves, can’t go wrong there then. The Garage was already pretty much full by the time they got on stage, probably something to do with the one hour and fifteen minutes gap between doors opening and Pup starting the set. Frankly a wait of that long is ridiculous but that’s a blog for another day. Within the first song I realised why there was such a big buzz surrounding Pup, my gosh they really give it some beans live. Pup don’t slowly ease into a set they attack in full speed from the start. Despite never hearing any of the songs before I found myself wanting to sing along with them, that’s how catchy they were. With some slight prodding from Pup the crowd were getting crazy with some fantastic crowd surfing. As well as being an excellent band and excellent songwriters they also came across as incredibly nice and humble guys on stage, constantly thanking everyone around them. I can’t wait to see them again and hope they go really really far.
After Pup had finished it was time for New Jerseys The Front Bottoms. I was amazed at just how far they had come in a short space of time. I remember seeing them support The Menzingers at The Borderline in 2012 and not really having a clue who they were. I fell in love with them that night; I found them to be really infectious and was really happy to see them headlining a venue easily twice the size just two years later. From the off The Front Bottoms had everyone in The Garage in the palm of their hands. Their unique folk/pop punk songs were sung loud and proud by everyone in the increasingly warm room. There is an uplifting quality about The Front Bottoms songs, even that their darkest topically it’s hard not to crack a smile when listening to them, especially live. I hadn’t realised just how many great songs The Front Bottoms have, playing great song after great song. Every song was very well received but the biggest reactions were saved for Flashlight, Au Revoir, The Beers, Swimming Pool, Maps and Twin Size Mattress. Another highlight was during the song Backflip where front man Brian got a member of the crowd on stage who he had spoken with earlier and got him to stage dive. I have to say this was one of the best stage dives I had ever seen, the guy got some great height and was actually caught by the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, this was one of the loveliest I had ever been in, especially at a gig of this size. Everyone was super friendly. At one point I was helping a guy crowd surf and somehow my headphone which was hanging out of my shirt managed to get caught in his laces and pulled my iPod of my pocket. I had no idea where it went until I saw a lovely lady with it in her hand. The kindness of strangers is brilliant.
This was a fantastic gig, both bands were great and everyone had a brilliant time. Can’t wait to see both bands again.
Check out Pup here: https://www.facebook.com/puptheband
Check out The Front Bottoms here: https://www.facebook.com/thefrontbottoms
Now listening to Prisoner Of Society by Luke Hilly and the Cavalry