Friday, 4 May 2018

Gig Review: Iron Chic at The Dome, London 23/4/18

What a weekend it had been! After three fantastic days in Manchester at Manchester Punk Festival and the next night in Bristol for a raucous Dreadnoughts set, we found ourselves in London to see Iron Chic headline The Dome in Tufnell Park. Originally the show was scheduled to be at The Lexington in Islington but due to the massive demand for tickets for the show it was moved to The Dome. After seeing them at MPF and being blown away yet again by the New Yorkers I was amped to see them again.

There was in fact a trio of bands that had played MPF over the weekend on the bill tonight with Dream Nails and Mobina Galore supporting Iron Chic. I hadn't been able to catch either of the support acts at MPF so this felt like some bonus bands for me. First to take to the stage were London four piece Dream Nails. Wearing some spectacularly glittery outfits (that immediately got me thinking about how their washing machines must get clogged up with glitter), they took to the stage with a great amount of swagger and confidence and quickly charmed the crowd with a high energy and well thought out live show. It was entertaining and thought provoking in equal measures. Dream Nails are one of a number of female and non binary bands that are proving that punk rock isn't just for boys, playing a great mix of indie and pop punk alongside of fast paced riot grrrl punk rock. It was the variation in their set that really drew me in. They didn't feel the need to conform to one style of punk rock, instead playing a style that suits the message of each individual song. Just some of the messages Dream Nails sung about were women's rights, safe and legal abortion, fascism and people not replying to text messages. I was so impressed with Dream Nails and look forward to seeing them again.

Up next were Canadian duo Mobina Galore. I last saw them supporting Against Me! at the Electric Ballroom a couple of years ago and was impressed. I'd also heard very favourable reviews of their set at MPF so was looking forward to seeing them. If you've not listened to Mobina Galore yet (shame on you) then the best way I can describe them is as a cross between The Distillers and Kamikaze Girls. It's aggressive and powerful punk rock that really grabs your attention. Jenna (guitar and vocals) and Marcia (drums and vocals) are two incredibly talented individuals who make some fantastic music. The crunching guitar and the hard hitting drums along with some of the best snarling vocals around create this wonderful sound that hits you right in the stomach. There was minimal talking between songs as they preferred to power through banger after banger. I did not mind this one bit as I was enjoying their music so much, in particular the tracks You're Not 23 Anymore and Vancouver. Mobina Galore are a fantastic up and coming band that will soon be household names within the punk rock scene all over the world.

Now for the second time in three days I found myself getting excited to see Iron Chic. After seeing them Saturday night in Manchester, I pretty much knew what to expect from the set list but this didn't prevent me singing the opening lines of Cutesy Monster Man at the top of my voice at the beginning of Iron Chic's set. Other than Bo Diddley Plaza in Gainesville this is the biggest crowd I've seen Iron Chic play to. Since they released You Can't Stay Here last year their popularity seems to have sky rocketed with plenty more people jumping on the bandwagon. That said this was perhaps one of the most static crowds I've seen Iron Chic play to. I'm not sure why, maybe because it was the start of the week and people weren't drinking as much? Maybe it was because people were exhausted from a busy weekend at Manchester Punk Festival and then travelled to Bristol to see Propagandhi? I dunno. That said, even though there wasn't much in the way of movement in the crowd there was plenty of singing and fists in the air from everyone inside The Dome. Iron Chic have carved out a reputation for being a fantastic live band despite not being the most animated of bands on stage. Instead of jumping around the stage they engage the crowd with their incredible songs that always get such fantastic reactions. Their set featured a good mix of all three Iron Chic albums with me personally getting most excited for the songs that come from Not Like This. At MPF I was a little surprised that the set wasn't heavier with new songs as this was Iron Chic's first time back in the UK since You Can't Stay Here was released but I'll never be sad about hearing the old favourites. The songs they did play from the newest album sound fantastic live and fit brilliantly into the set. This was a bit of a relief for me as You Can't Stay Here has definitely been an album that has been growing on me rather than one I fell in love with immediately. Iron Chic are one of the best bands in punk rock currently so it's no wonder that the shows keep getting bigger and bigger. As long as they keep coming back, I'll definitely be going to see them.

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

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