Boston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd September

Boston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd SeptemberBoston Manor at Mama Roux’s, 23rd September

When it comes to barrier less shows in the second city, Mama Roux’s comes up trumps in my opinion. For its aesthetically pleasing interior and moderately sized floor, the lack of barrier allows for chaos to ensue as it did on Sunday evening, as Boston Manor brought their latest UK tour to the venue.

Opening the show were South London’s Wallflower, who had supported Boston Manor on a previous headline tour of the UK so it was a pleasure to see them back on the bill. Clearly familiar to a large proportion of the already packed out crowd, the band were warmly received with tracks such as ‘Mas Eu Quero Mais’ and new single ‘Magnifier’ showcasing their emotional and powerful style.

Up next were perhaps the biggest curveball in terms of support act for the evening, in the form of Pure Noise Records signee’s Drug Church from Albany, New York. Performing what can only be described as punk in it’s most raucous and provoking form, Drug Church are a powerhouse in the live environment and a real kick in the teeth. Lead vocalist Patrick proves a humorous and friendly character in between tracks, but an engaging and unique vocalist in the musical sense. What Drug Church bring to the evening in terms of complementing Boston Manor, is something of a common theme later in the evening, to break away from their pop punk roots into something more artistic and perhaps credible.

Before all that though, it was time for Microwave from Atlanta, Georgia who perhaps lacked the drama and intensity of the previous two bands but they sure as hell made up for that in their fantastic song writing and ear for melody. After releasing their highly applauded album ‘Much Love’ in 2016, the band formed a loyal and enthusiastic fan base amongst the alternative scene, and the crowd on Sunday sure as hell showed them much love.

As was noted by the singer of Drug Church prior to Boston Manor taking the stage, it’s exciting to catch a band when they’re on the upward trajectory. And I think that’s the feeling of most people attending the album tour for Boston Manor’s second record ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’, that pulled into Mama Roux’s on Sunday evening.

Formed in Blackpool back in 2013, the band experienced success in the pop punk scene following a series of EP’s and release of their debut record ‘Be Nothing’. This time around however they’re looking to experience success in the rock scene, with slots on the Download Festival main stage and a show at Electric Ballroom in London signalling a shift in both their popularity and promise.

Perhaps the most striking thing from the show on Sunday, was not only the bright red-light poles donning the stage, but the focus on new songs from the band’s second record and how well they were received. Performing only three songs from their debut record and a single track from previous EP’s, the majority of the bands 14 song set came from the latest record. And the reception each track receives from finger pointing, mosh pits and crowd surfing was astonishing considering the album only came out a few weeks ago.

From a performance side of things, the band have gained a confidence that was never really seen from this band previously, performing as if the rest of the world is against them whilst clearly having the time of their lives. Lead vocalist Henry Cox did well to rile and excite the crowd, although it didn’t take much I must say. Tracks such as ‘England’s Dreaming’, ‘Bad Machine’ and of course ‘Halo’ sounded massive in the live environment, and it’s clear that Boston Manor have clearly outstayed their welcome in these small club venues and that it’s now time to take their place with the big boys. Welcome to the neighbourhood.

Reviewer: Dan Earl

Photographer: Adriana Vasile

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