Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Gig Review: Faintest Idea Album Launch at The Owl Sanctuary 1/4/16

Last month you may remember that I reviewed King's Lynn rude boy punks Faintest Idea's new TNS Records release Increasing The Minimum Rage. The six-piece had their album release show at Norwich's premier independent venue The Owl Sanctuary with support from The Lagan and The Bar Stool Preachers. The show promised to be a memorable one.

I was particularly excited about going to The Owl Sanctuary. Over the past couple of years the venue has become an important part of the independent music scene in the UK. Earlier this year a property developer bought the building where The Owl Sanctuary was situated and things were looking very bleak. Thankfully The Owl found a new venue and it continues to be one of the best and most important venues in the country.

Up first were Kingston's The Lagan. It has been a few years since I had seen The Lagan play live and it looked like there had been some line-up changes in that time but that didn't stop them being just as fun as I remembered. The Lagan play (to quote The Art of Punk’s Emma Prew) shanty-piratey-irish-folky-punk that is very hard to keep still to whilst listening. Not that you'd want to. This music is made for dancing, singing and having a great time. I wish I had listened to them more over the years, as it was such an enjoyable set and I just wish I could have got more involved in the singing. If you like bands such as The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly then The Lagan are a band you need to check out.

Next up it was The Bar Stool Preachers from Brighton. The Bar Stool Preachers are a band I've heard a lot about over the past year so I was looking forward to checking them out. If I only had one word to describe the set I would use the word "fun". Luckily this is my blog so I have as many words as I fancy! The band I instantly thought of when the band began to play was Boston's The Kings Of Nuthin'. It's refreshingly upbeat ska punk with lead singer Tom McFaull's vocals giving the sound a bit of a bluesy feel. There are many ska punk bands around the UK scene at the moment (a scene that's apparently dead!?) so it's great to hear yet another band giving the genre a different spin. The energy and enthusiasm of the whole band on stage was infectious and I can't wait to see them again sometime soon.

The sold out Owl Sanctuary was now packed to its capacity for Faintest Idea. As ever they began their set with Back To The Asylum, which of course had brass players Bobble, Sara and Lil Dan starting in the crowd before. I've seen this so many times now but always get a kick from it. If you've somehow not heard Faintest Idea yet they play a mix of street punk and ska with a lot of political content. With this being an album launch show of course they played a set heavy with new material from Increasing The Minimum Rage. Aside from videos for Circling The Drain and Cocktails, the album had only been released on that day so I was pleasantly surprised to see so much singing and dancing for the new stuff. The two aforementioned tracks, plus Down Pressure, No Pressure and Corporation, got big reactions and fit perfectly into Faintest Idea's already strong set list. Songs from the band's back catalogue also got some great reactions, particularly Youth, Mutual Aid, House of Cards, Too Bad, Bully Boy and the show closer Bull In A China Shop. Basically every song in the set was sung along to, danced to and really, really loved. On stage Faintest Idea are a joy to watch, whether it's the dancing from the most entertaining brass section in the scene or the intensity pouring out of bassist and lead singer Dani or guitarist Jack P, the performance hits you like a fireball of energy that makes it impossible not to get swept up in the excitement and chaos that is a Faintest Idea crowd. Faintest Idea are constantly going from strength to strength, whether it's their music, their song writing or their live performance they are a band you need to know.

You can buy Increasing The Minimum Rage here: