Thursday, 20 July 2017

Gig Review: The Overjoyed and friends at New Cross Inn 16/7/17

Over the years, the New Cross Inn has become renowned for the punk rock all-dayer. A day that starts early in the afternoon and has bands playing throughout the entire afternoon, evening and night. To my shame, I've never managed to get down to the South East London venue for one of these all-dayers despite thinking that they look amazing. At least, that was until the latest event which took place on Sunday 16th of July. Be Sharp Promotions and Kick The Crutches were coming together to put on an absolutely stacked line up of some of the best underground punk rock from London, as well as some special guests from Somerset, Leeds and some really special guests from Greece. Emma and I decided we would go as soon as we saw what an incredible line up it was. Online the price was only £3 and it would be £5 on the door. This was such a ridiculous line up we decided that £3 is far too cheap so we paid the £5 door price. £5 was still stupidly cheap for the level of bands that we would be getting to watch all day. We made sure we were there early so we could see all of the acts.

First up was former DropThis singer, Jordan, under the alias Sweater Songs. Where DropThis played some excellent melodic hardcore punk, Sweater Songs is Jordan's acoustic solo endeavour. It was also the perfect way to ease the crowd that were already gathering into the day. Only playing for about twenty minutes, Jordan managed to squeeze in a few covers, as well as his own songs, into the set. As well as attempting to promote the New Cross Inn's reasonably priced chicken snacks. There was a great laid back charm to his performance to go along with his fantastic vocals that had the crowd listening keenly throughout his set. I look forward to hearing more from Sweater Songs. Sweater Songs is great.

Up next was the first full band show of the day and it was a band I was really looking forward to seeing again. It was Kingston's Resuscitators. I first heard the Resuscitators when they supported Off With Their Heads at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston back in 2013. I loved their set that day and am amazed it took me another four years before getting to see them again. As soon as they started their first song memories of what I loved about them four years ago came flooding back. This is fast paced melodic punk with vocals coming from everywhere. It's not just that everyone sings all the time though, most of the time it's different combinations of Resuscitator members singing different parts of the song. It's clear a lot of thought has gone into this to help create the right sound for the right moment. Finishing with the excellent Little Victories, I hope it's not such a long time before I see Resuscitators again. Resuscitators are great.

Next up was Joe Sullivan and The Happiness Werewolves. Joe Sullivan is a former member of the excellent Bandit The Panther, before releasing a solo EP late last year titled Osborne Heights. Since then he's put a full band together going by the moniker Joe Sullivan and The Happiness Werewolves. Taking Joe's acoustic songs and filling them out with a rocking full band worked an absolute treat. If you didn't know of the band before the gig it's certain that you were a fan at the end of their set. Edging away from the more melodic and skate punk sound that the majority of the bands on the bill played, Joe Sullivan and The Happiness Werewolves were much more of a straight forward punk rock act with a hint of folk. This is a band that should be on everyone's radars and I'm really hoping they do some full band recording sooner rather than later. Joe Sullivan and The Happiness Werewolves are great.

London based record label Umlaut Records had a whole host of bands from their impressive roster playing the show. First up was Fastfade, fresh from recently releasing their second EP called Side Effects. The three young men who make up Fastfade are incredibly talented musicians (the days bass player is a stadn in due to Fast Fade's normal bass player being away) but also are an extremely fun loving band. Whether it's wearing their underwear on stage, bantering amongst themselves or with the crowd with some self-depreciating humour or trying to start a bit of controversy about North London (where they're from) being better than South London. This is all just part of the fun, the real talking point about Fastfade is just how good they are! If you're a fan of 90s skate punk then you really need to check these guys out live. Along with playing a host of their own tracks they also played a couple of Green Day covers, one that was planned (In The End) and one that was just done on the fly (FOD). This was a super fun set. Fastfade are great.

In a change to the original time slots, next up were On A Hiding To Nothing. On a Hiding To Nothing put on one of the more energetic performances of the day with bass player Jack Wiseman stomping around the stage with an unmatched ferocity. They plated a selection of songs from their previous two EPs, with the tracks from this year's Formaldehyde release really standing out. On A Hiding To Nothing are one of the London punk scene's best kept secrets. Playing fast paced skate punk, the performance is absolutely breathless, I get tired just watching them so gosh knows how knackered they must be by the time they finish their half an hour set. Lead singer Al has an instantly recognisable voice and is ably backed up by some great harmonies from Jack and Hassan (we'll see him again later). On A Hiding To Nothing are one of those bands that I feel like should be much more well known than they are. They are skilled bunch of musicians who write excellent music and put on a great live show. On A Hiding To Nothing are great.

The same can also be said about Cereal Box Heroes. This pop punk three piece are just the most fun to watch on stage. Guitarist Connor and bassist Dom play off of each other brilliantly. Whether they are taking turns in singing songs or singing together, they do a fantastic job of keeping the energy up. Cereal Box Heroes are clearly influenced by Blink 182 and you can hear that in their sound but it's definitely not a rip off. There was a nice moment where Hassan of Triple Sundae and On A Hiding To Nothing joined the band on stage for an impromptu stint as lead vocalist. Something I really loved about this whole day was the companionship between all of the bands that were playing. They're all mates away from the music and it just made the day feel like one long friendly party. Cereal Box Heroes are great.

Following CBH was a band I was completely unaware of. A three piece pop punk band by the name of The Splash took to the stage. This trio from Somerset play an in your face style of pop punk with some fantastic gruff vocals. The crowd gathered at New Cross Inn were quite keen to see The Splash - they clearly made quite the good impression on people. Their enthusiasm on the New Cross Inn stage was infectious and I found myself grinning throughout their whole set. The between song banter was just as enjoyable, making jokes about being from Somerset and being scared of London and how they've made a video for a song that's on YouTube so we must have know all the words. The icing on the cake for The Spash's set was their cover of East 17's Christmas hit Stay Another Day. July is of course the perfect time to play that song. The Splash are great.

On the 22nd of May I had never seen Triple Sundae live. On the 17th of July I have seen them three times and look forward to seeing them many more times in the future. There's an undeniable charm to a Triple Sundae set that just makes me love them. It's not just me though, they've drawn one of the biggest crowds of the day so far and everyone's extremely pumped up to see them. If you've not listened to Triple Sundae before (shame on you) they play a melodic style of pop punk that gets your feet really stomping. The band's friendship with Cereal Box Heroes is on display again as CBH's Dom fills in on bass for Triple Sundae and does a superb job. During one of the songs, singer Hassan (here he is again) passes his microphone down to CBH's Connor and invites him to sing the song, as well. More evidence of the great community spirit in this wonderful scene. Triple Sundae are one of those bands you know are destined to grow and grow. Triple Sundae are great.

Like Resuscitators earlier in the day, it's been a long four years since I had seen Eat Defeat. The four piece from Leeds have developed into one of the finest pop punk bands in the country in that time and their most recent release (on Umlaut Records, of course), Time & Tide, is an absolute banger. Sadly I was slightly distracted by a drunk man stumbling around in front of me for the first part of Eat Defeat's set but when he finally disappeared, what a great set of high octane pop punk this was. I was really impressed by the strength of lead singer Summer's voice in a live setting, not sounding too dissimilar to the records. Earlier in the day Eat Defeat had posted a picture of their van loaded up and ready to travel down to London for the show, curiously there was a surfboard in the van. The reason for this became apparent at the beginning of their set as it was placed in front of the stage and soon enough we were being encouraged to crowd surf somebody on the surfboard. This created an awesome image. Eat Defeat are great.

At the beginning of the summer The Burnt Tapes, via Umlaut Records, put out one of my favourite releases of the year with the EP Alterations. Unlike the majority of the other bands playing, The Burnt Tapes play more of a slower paced, gruff sing-along style of punk rock opposed to some of their more poppy counterparts. I've said many times before that I just don't understand why these four guys aren't more well known in the punk rock scene as they have all the ingredients needed to be a great band. The songs are exceptional and they are a great live band. Lead singer Phil's voice sounds fantastic live, guitarist Pan add some quality vocals when called upon, drummer Jordan absolutely kills it every time and bassist Tone has this wonderful charisma on stage that makes it hard not to watch him on stage. Every time I write about The Burnt Tapes I feel like I'm writing them a love letter but I just want everyone to know how good everyone who has seen them knows they are. Smashing bunch of lads as well. The Burnt Tapes are great.

It's not very often that you'll go to an all day gig and not know a thing about the headline act other than they are named The Overjoyed and that they are from Greece. Thankfully I was in the minority with my lack of Overjoyed knowledge as they were completely adored by the New Cross crowd. The three piece played a mix of skate and pop punk with a small dose of ska thrown in for good measure. Despite the long day, the crowd still had plenty of energy left for The Overjoyed and danced, moshed and skanked their way through their entire set. Despite not knowing any of the songs I found myself dancing along with the band and I was slightly mesmerised by the entire set. In case you're unaware, The Overjoyed are great.

This was an incredibly fun day and it really lived up to all of my expectations of the New Cross Inn all dayer. All eleven acts absolutely smashed it and the whole day was a great advertisement for the talent that resides in our underground punk scene. I was really impressed with how well the whole day was run as well. You'd expect an all day gig in a small pub to start to run late or the sound to not be so good. This was never the case, the day ran smoothly and the sound was spot on all day. Massive kudos to all who were involved in the day. Like I said, we had a great day and it only cost £5! Make sure you get yourself down to New Cross for the next punk all dayer, it's the best way to spend a Sunday.

This gig review was written by Colin Clark.