The recent May bank holiday weekend was packed with some excellent punk gigs across the UK. The first Bristol edition of Booze Cruise Festival was taking place over the weekend but, unfortunately with a few other gigs booked up around the London area (namely The Dreadnoughts and Slam Dunk Festival), we weren’t able to go. Thankfully many of the bands playing Booze Cruise also had London dates around the weekend with three of the bands – Mobina Galore, Hora Douse and Traverse – appearing at the New Cross Inn on the Friday night. I was interested to see a headline Mobina Galore set, having only seen them support bigger bands previously, but it was French punks Traverse that firmly secured my attendance at the show.
A late addition to the already top-notch line-up, Crushed Veneer opened up the show. The London band have gone through a bit of a line-up change since we saw them last September, as they are now a three-piece and have a new drummer (new to us anyway). If anything, however, their performance was all the better for it. Their loud, fast Gaslight Anthem-esque punk rock filled the New Cross Inn and had those that had arrived early enough nodding along in no time. I didn’t recognise many of the songs beyond Kind Of Blue, from last year’s Desire And The Need To Live EP, and newest single Denial, but it was all great. Perhaps we can expect a second EP soon?
Traverse are a four-piece indie punk band from Paris who I’ve been a big fan of since discovering them on Bandcamp at the end of 2017. Last year they released their brilliant self-titled debut album and I waited eagerly for the band to pop over the Channel to play some shows in the UK – this spring my wish has been granted. It was their first time in the UK and their first show in London so I’m not sure how many people in the room actually knew Traverse but I expect their set earned them a few new fans. The band were passionate and slick in their performance with some killer gang vocals and harmonies. I just loved every second. I can’t say for certain but they may well have played every song from their album, including lead single Firestarter and, CPRW favourite, Situations. Basically, it was worth coming out for Traverse’s set alone… but we still had two more bands to go!
Next up were Hora Douse, a trio from Manchester and the only band on the line-up that I hadn’t heard of before. The band are on board for the whole UK tour with Mobina Galore which started in London and, according to the band, the New Cross Inn show was actually their first time playing together as a band in a long time. Not being an existing fan, I don’t know how long exactly it’s been nor how long they’ve been a band full stop but what I can say is that they didn’t seem the least bit rusty to me. Hora Douse are clearly masters of their emo-driven punk and were very enjoyable to watch. The band recently released a new single called Balloons, which they opened their set with. It also features on an exclusive tour cassette split with Mobina Galore. I mean, I don’t own anything that could play a cassette tape but that’s still kind of cool.
It wasn’t an overly busy Friday night at the New Cross Inn but there’s no doubt that those who were in attendance were ready to rock with tonight’s headliners. Mobina Galore, for those who don’t know, can be described as a ‘vocally aggressive power chord punk’ duo who are from Winnipeg, Canada. Formed of Jenna, guitar and vocals, and Marcia, drums and vocals, these two put so much energy and raw passion into their songs that they are just captivating to watch live. My previous experiences of seeing Mobina Galore have been at the Electric Ballroom, supporting Against Me!, and The Dome, supporting Iron Chic. I really enjoyed their sets both times but what I really needed was to see them at a smaller show and so the New Cross Inn was perfect for them. Mobina Galore embraced it instantly and stormed through a furious set which had me head-banging (albeit, not too aggressively) throughout. The setlist consisted of songs mostly from their last album, Feeling Disconnected, including Vancouver and Suffer, as well as a few older songs like You’re Not 23 Anymore. We also got to hear some brand new tracks as the band have a new album coming out later in the year – it’s going to be a good’un if what they played live is anything to go by. I was really impressed with the vocals on display, particularly as Jenna had been sick prior to the UK tour. The contrast between Jenna’s raw voice and Marcia’s softer harmonies is just so, so good. Finishing the set alone, Jenna treated us to an emotional rendition of Mobina Galore’s latest single, Zoë. Such a good band.
It’s a shame there weren’t more people at the show, especially as it was a Friday night, but we had a great night with four great bands nonetheless.
This gig review was written by Emma Prew. (Photos also by Emma.)