9th April | Fleece
Photos: Kristina Kimlickova
I’m usually pretty punctual when it comes to gigs, never missing out on support bands because you never know when you might find your new faves. It had just gone eight o’clock and first support of the night, Gender Roles, were midway through their set. I was greeted with the sound of loud pop-punk. The hair-flinging boys in Gender Roles delivered a punchy set with catchy riffs. Imagine if The Darkness had a younger brother going through an emo phase. Inherently memorable stuff from the trio, definitely not your stereotypical pop-punkers.
Second support of the night were hard rockers, Milk Teeth. I learnt something last night – just because something is loud doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. The drums were catastrophically loud; their songs became predictable and stale very quickly. Their banter was great, which made me warm to them a little more. If you’re a fan of middling guitar solos and a vocalist who could pass as the lead singer of Angry Amputees, then give them a listen. Other than that, I thought their set lacked diversity.
“Pup! Pup! Pup!” was being chanted by the eager crowd. It wasn’t long before the four-piece walked on-stage to a corny 80s TV theme. Hurtling into the loud and raucous title track from their latest release ‘Morbid Stuff’, there were horn hand gestures flying up in the air and everyone around me was screaming the lyrics, despite the fact the album was only released four days previously. This was testament to their fanbase; the show was a sell-out and packed with die-hard fans. You could really tell that these guys were totally humbled, as well as relishing in the fact that everyone was chanting the words back in their faces.
Two songs into Pup’s set, there was the first crowdsurfer of the night. Mosh pits are one thing, but tonight’s was something else. I couldn’t quite tell if frontman, Stefan Babcock was frustrated at this or just trying to concentrate. But hey, if you can’t beat them, join them. Shortly afterwards, Babcock crowdsurfed along the front rows whilst playing guitar.
“What’s up, Bristol! We’re Pup. I hope you’re not expecting a professional rock band because that’s not us.” Nothing more was needed to be said before we were all then doused in a spectrum of pop-punk riffs and bleeding bass lines. Pints were flying, and moshing, crowdsurfing limbs were poking out at all angles. It’s almost as if those who were involved in the camaraderie weren’t that invested in watching Pup perform.
Their biggest hit, ‘Reservoir’ was definitely the highlight of the night. Pup gave it their all and energetically thrashed it. Their set was textbook pop-punk with a few flairs of math intertwined. They didn’t push the boundaries of live performance by any means. The crowd most definitely did though. Pup left the stage without an encore. A chorus of grunts and mumbles echoed around me. Their set was relatively short but it did manage to pack a punch.
See the video for ‘Kids’ here: