Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Gig Review: The Bouncing Souls at the Camden Underworld 6/8/16

I have mentioned before that Friday and Saturday gigs in London suck, because of the early starts and finishes due to the stupid club nights that venues insist on having. However, sometimes one of your favourite bands ever play London on a Saturday night and you have to just suck it up. I also recently have had some bad luck with getting to the Underworld - where the night's gig was taking place. Last month I missed an entire gig at the Underworld because trains from Colchester were severely delayed. This time however that wasn't the issue. Plans were made to get to the station early to catch an earlier train and we were off - to see The Bouncing Souls! I was so excited! We arrived in London to discover that the section of the Northern Line that we needed to use was closed so we were advised to head to King's Cross and change over there. When we arrived at King's Cross we discovered that it would be buses ferrying people between the stations. We decided it would be just as easy to walk to Camden (and it would allow me to catch some Pokémon along the way) so off we went.

Because of this hold up and the early start we only managed to catch the final couple of songs from London's Pacer. Despite the early start, they had a decent sized crowd watching them and if they played the rest of the set like they played their final two songs then there is no doubt that Pacer gained some new fans during their set. Final song, Awake, was completely awesome.

Up next were one of the hottest bands in the world of punk and rock at the moment. New Orleans's hardcore punk rockers Pears were in town for their second time playing London. I can't think of another band that has blown up quite as quickly as Pears have in such a short space of time and I was very intrigued to find out what all the fuss was about. The four piece took to the Underworld stage and immediately exploded into life. Vocalist Zach Quinn was one hell of a performer. Borrowing Emma's description from Instagram, "He's like Freddie Mercury but possessed by a demon." Pears blasted through so many of their songs from both albums, Go To Prison and Green Star. They got a good portion of the crowd going wild during their set and proved why there is so much hype surrounding them.

It was finally time for one of the greatest bands ever, New Jersey's The Bouncing Souls. Since forming in the late 80s, The Souls have become one of the most beloved punk bands of all time. The Underworld was packed from the front to the back and anticipation was high. The Souls took to the stage and started their set with the classic Sing Along Forever. Immediately the crowd were screaming every lyric straight back at the band, at times overpowering Greg Anttonito. This was my fourth time seeing the Souls live and to be honest they have been a bit hit or miss. After the very first song it was clear this set was going to be a massive hit. The band were up for it and so was the crowd. With a setlist spanning their entire discography, it's easy to forget just how many amazing songs the band have written over the years. There were also some run outs for three songs from the band's brand new album, Simplicity. Hearing Driving All Night, I Wanna Be Bored and Writing On The Wall live for the first time was a complete pleasure and all fit brilliantly into their set. Other highlights from the set included Manthem, Gone, Lean On Sheena, Kids and Heroes and of course True Believers. True Believers is probably my favourite song of all time. It's inspiring. What an amazing feeling seeing and hearing that song live. It gets me every single time. I said earlier in the review that The Bouncing Souls have been a bit hit or miss in the past. I kind of think this could be down to the type of venue they've played. Previously they've played in big room and have been good, but at a small compact venue like the Underworld is where the band shines brightest. It was as perfect as a set could possibly be. I really loved it. A lot!