Saturday, 15 September 2018

Gig Review: Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves at the New Cross Inn 10/9/18

September has already been super busy on the gig front for Emma and I. On Monday the 10th we found ourselves at our fourth in nine days. Back at our home from home, the New Cross Inn in South East London, for a night of punk rock presented by Be Sharp Promotions and headlined by Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves with support for The New Heat, Resuscitators and Katie MF. Being a Monday night it unfortunately it wasn't the best attended punk show of the year but what it lacked in people it more than made up in talent.

First up was Katie MF, who we featured as our Band of the Week earlier in the year. Katie MF are a three piece, fronted by Katie MF. They started out their set with a slower folk number that at times felt kind of bluesy before picking up the tempo and adding some gutsy punk rock to their sound. I assume that Katie started out as a solo act before adding the full band. She picked two supremely talented musicians to back her up, I was so impressed with them as a band. Katie herself was captivating, playing with so much energy and passion during the faster tracks and delivering a really powerful and moving performance during the slower songs. The highlight of their set was the song Mr Cameron, Mr Gove – a song about the terrible state those two men have left our country in. I loved this set and have already recommended to my friends at Be Sharp that they should book them again.

Up next were Resuscitators. I've been following these guys for years now and have loved everything that they've done. Recently they've become a three piece after losing one of their guitar players and I was interested to see how this affected them as a live band. They've also recently finished recording an album so the set promised to be full of new tracks. Starting out with my favourite Resuscitators track Little Victories before moving onto Rivers from their latest single, they really hooked me in and I found myself singing along best I could. From there they moved onto some newer tracks which have me quite excited to hear this new album. Something I've always adored about Resuscitators is their use of multiple vocalists, this gives their skate punk sound even more energy. Guitarist Roger Holland seems to have taken on more vocals on the new material and sounds great. Bassist Matt still does the majority of the singing though and as ever was on top form. This was a fun and energetic performance from Resuscitators. Finishing on the fantastic A Record Of My Own Self Doubt, Resuscitators cemented my opinion on them being one of the most underrated bands in the UK.

We first got the opportunity to see the next band, The New Heat, back at Polite Riot Festival in June. The four piece left a big impression on everyone in the crowd that day and we were looking forward to catching them again. Playing soulful and energetic punk rock similar to The Gaslight Anthem they again set about wowing everyone in the New Cross Inn. They have this great quality in their sound that makes me think it would work well in a big academy venue as well as a smaller venue like the New Cross Inn. Lead singer Nik Holi has a superb voice, it’s equally raspy as it is powerful and really captures the whole room’s attention. They mostly played songs from their EP We Said Our Prayers but also treated us to a brand new song which saw the band spread their wings a bit. Like I said earlier, they have a similar sound to The Gaslight Anthem but for me they play that style with a lot more of a kick than Gaslight and I loved them for this. There was also a nice moment where Katie MF joined the band on stage to provide vocals for one of the tracks. The New Heat are going to very quickly make a big name for themselves amongst the London punk rock scene. Go check them out.

I have to admit I wasn't overly familiar with Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves before the gig but had heard good enough things to make me want to make the two hour journey to New Cross on a Monday night to check them out. I soon discovered the North Carolina based four piece play fast and aggressive gruff punk music. Think Red City Radio or Elway but with raspier vocals and played at a much faster pace. Now not knowing the songs makes the set kind of tricky to review but after every track I thought I need to check this one out again. This was definitely the type of punk rock I love and I really enjoyed their set. The small crowd didn't seem to put a dampener on their performance and, like the best punk rock bands, they put everything they had into the set. Taking the time to banter with the crowd between songs was a nice touch, this included a terribly hilarious joke about shopping malls. Wolves x 4 play the sort of punk rock that I love to sing along with and I imagine it's so good in a small room with a big crowd screaming along to every word. That's what I really wished this show was and it has me wanting to see them again – once I've learnt every word from the record I bought after the show, The Cross And The Switchblade. Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves are a great band who need your attention.

This, as always, was a great night of punk rock down at the New Cross Inn. It was a big shame there weren't a few more folks in attendance but each band killed it anyway and we had a wonderful time.

This review was written by Colin Clark. Photos by Emma Prew.

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