Of all the bands that could most embrace the idea of a Fluffer Pit Party - 360 degree chaos, fully involving the crowd and never standing still - there’s three of the best congregating at EPIC Dalston tonight.
Openers YOWL are one of London’s most exciting new bands, and waste no time getting involved. Their grunge-tinged drawl works perfectly tonight, with debut single ‘My Headache Likes To Speak’ a spiky, dangerous highlight.
Mingling with the crowd and thrashing their way around the crowd, the five-piece are just going upwards at the moment, and tonight’s set is another reminder of their promise. When a full collection drops, those comparisons as the UK’s Parquet Courts might just come to fruition.
If the opening set wasn’t intense enough, quartet Bad Breeding up the chaos to a whole other level. 90-second stabs of unstoppable hardcore are interspersed with foreboding samples and Chris Dodd prowling each corner of the stage; it’s a fearsome performance that has the crowd cowering in fear and embracing the destruction in equal measure.
It’s a bit more of a joyous experience when Japandroids hit the 360 stage, if no less intense. Third album ‘Near To The Wild Heart Of Life’ is another fiercely honest, passionate collection, and as soon as the album’s title track opens the set, a collection of swirling bodies sing along as if their lives depend on it, Brian King’s words feeling like gospel.
Cuts from 2012’s ‘Celebration Rock’ is still one of the best rock records of the decade so far, and highlights ‘Younger Us’ and ‘The Night Of Wine And Roses’ are still brilliantly impassioned, feeling no less vital than when they first showed themselves five years ago.
Swigging from a bottle of unidentified spirit, King just gets more fired up as the set rolls on, and by the time the band’s calling card and frighteningly huge anthem ‘The House That Heaven Built’ closes the show, one whole side of the ballroom is thrashing around with complete abandon. The band’s latest record dialled down the intensity levels slightly, but live, they remain one of the most joyous, full-of-heart bands on the planet, and give everyone in attendance a sharp reminder of that, along with a great deal of hope and pride in the world for good measure.
Photos: Lindsay Melbourne