Should the most interesting Stranger Thing (clearly ‘Jonathan Byers’) ever front a band then he’d probably sound and write like Jamie Lowe, Feral Family’s sulky, non-impressed, frontman. Seemingly uninterested in the crowd, who in some cases annoyingly stand messaging, Lowe’s persona is prickly and intentionally challenging as he spends the set giving eye contact and facing down the audience; his is a persona not intending to bow to the crowd. Set with his punk post look, and Feral’s post punk sound, Lowe and the ‘Family’ blaze through their set including standouts ‘It’s all fake’ and ‘Feed the Machine’ all intense walking baselines and Gang of Four styled guitars. They’re happy to tell the world what’s wrong and they couldn’t give a monkeys if you agree.
Casual Threats are up next to continue on this evenings punk feel with their unique blend of punk meets early 90s manic Street Preachers styled rage, glitter and interesting fashion choices. Driven hard by standouts ‘Docklands light railway’, ‘Shots of whisky make you stronger’ and ‘Broken promises’, the ‘Threats play passionately whilst offering accessible between song humour.
Somehow adding further passion to the evening are headliners ‘Laurens Court’ who kick off with a solo ‘Wonderful world’ which blends into a heavy, metal influenced, Rage Against the Machine outro setting us for an intensity which persists across their show. Frontman Dylan rises to the intensity challenge, breaking the audience/band vacuum and stalking each audience member throughout the show. ‘17‘ stands out with its Devoto-era-Buzzcocks spiky guitar sound, supported by it’s lyric “All I am is the art I make… And half of that is shit”; impressive performance art with a huge vulnerability aspect. Fading into the night with a repeat of the line “When it was a dream it wasn’t real” and “I told you I was no-one but you wouldn’t listen” Lauren prove that the greatest live experiences are the ones where the artists give you everything they have. A great set with a particularly effecting and un-expectantly harrowing end.