Brooklyn Bowl, London
August 8, 2015
Brawlers introduced themselves with self-deprecating humour belying their earnest performance and stage presence. With this obvious work ethic, expect them to be a fixture on the UK punk scene.
Next came Anti-Flag. The pairing of these hardcore punk veterans with ska-punk stalwarts Less Than Jake may not have seemed obvious, but Anti-Flag made it work by attacking their set as if they were headlining. Earnestly sharing their anti-capitalist, pro-equality ethos without ever being preachy, they earned both respect and new fans. Regardless of genre or politics, the performance was something to behold – high-octane, acrobatic and truly memorable.
I might have worried how Less Than Jake could follow on, were it not the 16th time I’d seen them live. 16 years gone and they’re still the best live band I know, perhaps because they play with the energy of 16 year olds. With real engagement with the word-perfect fans, flamboyant performances and larger-than-life props – giant balloons, skanking mascot, toilet paper gun – they are compelling to watch and sound as good as ever. See you down the front next time!
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