The last time I was at Urban Bar in Whitechapel, London, it was one of my favourite shows ever. It was the 3rd of June 2017 for the Burnt Tapes’ launch show for the much celebrated EP Alterations. The Burnt Tapes had been a favourite live band of mine for a while but it was that show that really took them up to another level for me. On Friday the 5th of April, this year, we found ourselves back at Urban Bar getting ready to celebrate the launch of the four piece’s exceptional debut album, Never Better, and it promised to be another very special night. Like at the EP launch two years ago, their great friends Triple Sundae would be providing support along with Mixtape Saints and Laserchrist.
It was now time for the moment we were all really looking forward to. I looked around the now full room as Phil, Pan, Tone and Jordan were setting up and it was so lovely to see so many people who have been with the band right from the start. There were members of Resuscitators, Waco, Müg/Umlaut Records as well as their old pal Wayfairer all in attendance – I would imagine they are all so proud of the Burnt Tapes. Never Better had actually been out for a month so we have all had plenty of time to learn the words to the songs. This meant that each song they played from the album and some favourites from Alterations all received big, passionate sing-alongs. There was so much love for these songs in the room, with plenty of big fist-in-the-air moments. There was a point during the set where I stopped singing and just watched in awe with the realisation that these guys are going up another level and will no doubt be headlining plenty more of their own shows with bigger and bigger crowds. After that brief moment of thought, I went right back to singing as loudly as I could, particularly to my personal favourite song from Never Better – Dirt Roads. Never Better’s two singles of course got big reactions, both sounding incredible live and of course the now traditional set closer Things Get Weird got a raucous reaction as well. Tonight the band weren't finished there though, for a short and well deserved encore they gave us a taste of their upcoming MPF Menzingers cover set when they ran through a superb version of Casey. What a set, what a band.
This review was written by Colin Clark. Photos by Emma Prew.