Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Gig Review: Gnarwolves and The Smith Street Band at The Dome 25/4/15

When it was announced that Gnarwolves and The Smith Street Band announced that they were doing a co-headline tour I could not have been more excited. I was actually so excited that when tickets were on sale I actually ran home from to buy a ticket for me and my friend. Sadly the night before the gig my friend spent the night being sick and had to drop out. That coupled with the fact that I was really suffering with a leg injury made me really not in the mood to go. I decided to go though, knowing I;d be quite miserable if I didn't so after topping myself up with painkillers and strapping up my leg I made my way to The Dome in Tufnell Park.

I'd never been to The Dome before and didn't have a clue where to go once I arrived at Tufnell Park. When I left the tube station I went with the tactic of following someone I thought was going to the gig. Naturally the people I followed went the wrong way so I turned on Google Maps, did the awkward about turn in the middle of the street and went straight back the other way to The Dome. There was a queue! My gosh I hate queueing up for gigs. I walked up to what I guessed was the back of it and double checked that I was right. He then asked me whether or not I had a ticket because he hadn't. I told him that I actually had two and asked if he wanted it. What luck for both of us. If I hadn't of gotten lost I probably wouldn't have ever spoken to the guy and I would have wasted a ticket and he might not of got into the gig. The guy ended up being really cool and I ended up spending the evening with him and two of his mates. My evening was turning in to a good one before the music had even begun.

When I walked into The Dome I was shocked at how big it was, I was expecting a small dark room and what I found was a decent sized spacious area. It reminded me of a community centre or school assembly hall. Drug Church were the first band to take to the stage, which was nice and high so wherever you were stood you got a decent view. I had never heard of Drug Church before they were announced as tour support so didn't have too much of a idea what they would be like. When the five piece from Albany New York took to the stage it was immediately clear what Drug Church were all about. This was hardcore punk rock at it's finest, pure, unadulterated aggression exploded from the stage as the band lead an extremely watchable front man they powered through a great set that seemed to end just as quickly as it begun. It was a fun set as well, with the band inviting a guy named Seb, who I guess was just a fan in the crowd to do guest vocals on one of the songs. If you're into hardcore punk with a hint of grunge Drug Church are definitely a band you should be listening to.

The next band up were Australia's finest band – The Smith Street Band. This would be my fourth time seeing these Aussie gentleman in a year (coincidently my first time seeing them was this week a year ago) and was my first time seeing them since they released their phenomenal album Throw Me In The River. Many of the songs played tonight I would be hearing live for the first time and I was beyond excited. Starting off with the first two songs from Throw Me In The River, Something I Can Hold In My Hand and Surrender, The Dome were instantly in love with the Smithies. Then they played Don't Fuck With Our Dreams and things got really fun, this was one of the loudest sing alongs that I've ever heard with the room screaming back every single word to the band. Hearing the line “I Know What Happened I Was There” and singing back “We Know What Happened We Were There” is one of my favourite things to do at any gig I've ever been to. It was great to see songs from Throw Me In The River get as much love such as classics such as Sigourney Weaver and Young Drunk. I was especially excited to hear I Love Life live, that song is my favourite song from Throw Me In The River and probably in my opinion the best song of 2014. I was interested to see how good it would be as a live song because of the long musical interlude in the middle of the song. It serves perfectly as a building block for a massive finale to The Smith Street Bands set. My favourite thing about a Smith Street Band set is just how uplifting it is. Even writing this now, after having a couple of quite crappy days thinking about the gig is lifting my spirits. That's just how special a band those four gentleman from Australia are. If you haven't seen them live yet you are a fool.

Gnarwolves are without a doubt the biggest punk rock band in the United Kingdom. This would be my seventh times seeing them live and every single time the shows have got bigger and the crowd have got wilder. From the opening of Smoking Kills all the way through to closing song Melody Has Big Plans the stage is full of people wanting to stage dive. It's complete chaos at the front but it's what Gnarwolves thrive on! This is what a Gnarwolves gig is all about and I absolutely love it. It's a collective thing, the crazier the crowd get the harder Gnarwolves play and the harder they play the crazier the crowd gets. I've not seen many bands connect with their fans as well as Gnarwolves do, it's a special bond that you really only get with a band like this. A band that's worked so hard to get where they are, by doing it properly, by constantly being on tour and playing shows everywhere. This takes an astonishing amount of commitment and bravery and is partly how they've built such a big “Cru” of fans. Obviously the other way they've developed such a big fan base is the quality of the songs. All are packed with massive hooks and choruses that are impossible not to get involved with. They are perfect for the live environment, as are Gnarwolves themselves.

This had been one of the best gigs I had been to in a while and it has reminded why I love going so much. The whole evening really lifted my spirits, everything about the night was great. All three bands were fantastic and all the people I met were just brilliant.  

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