The Bronx @ The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent – Tuesday 13th November 2012

If straight-up, no-nonsense, immensely enjoyable punk rock sounds like a good way to spend a few hours on a Tuesday evening, then you can’t go far wrong with the boys from The Bronx. Who, by the way, are from California! The band are on UK shores for an all-too-brief tour which misses most of the major cities in favour of places like Tunbridge Wells, Folkestone… and Stoke-On-Trent.

As we arrive at the box office of the Underground, I’m informed that, despite having it all agreed with management days before, no names are on the guest list. Unfortunately, this breakdown in communications happens all too often but tonight it takes way too long to rectify and, as a result, we miss most of the main support band. Thanks must go to promoter, Keir, though, who makes the effort to sort things out and we manage to catch the last couple of songs of the curiously named Norwegian band, Honningbarna. They seem to be going down a storm with the crowd but, despite some solid riffs, nothing I hear tonight leaves me wanting to investigate them further.

As The Bronx enter the stage, frontman Matt Caughthran smiling knowingly, there’s an anticipation from anyone in the audience who’s witnessed their live show before that the next hour is going to be a whirlwind of energy, infectious tunes and all-out fun. The Bronx know how to have a good time and are all too happy to make the crowd as much a part of the show as the five guys on stage. Tonight they dare to include a big chunk of their new album, not released until 2013, but the unfamiliar songs sound every bit as raw and feisty as their older material and the fans seem to embrace them all with open arms.

The band seem genuinely pleased to be back in the UK, a country which has welcomed them ever since their first visit almost a decade ago. Caughthran makes reference to Stoke being the home town of Slash before recalling the one time he met the legendary guitarist at a festival, introduced himself and waited while Slash removed his pants in front of him before shaking his hand!

For the whole set the crowd is a mass of writhing bodies and it’s not long before Caughthran is in amongst them for the final part of their set. One fan brings him a shot to help fuel the madness as the frontman is hoist onto another punter’s shoulders and carried through the room as the band bash out the brilliant Shitty Future.

“This goes out to the winners… and the winners alone!” says Matt before The Bronx bid us a fine farewell with Knifeman. The gig represents everything I love about the band. Simple, fun and packed full of superb songs played with an authentic love for what they’re doing. Long may they continue.

Review & photographs by Steve Gerrard

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1 thought on “The Bronx @ The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent – Tuesday 13th November 2012

  1. The Bronx will always be one of my favourite bands to watch and heres hoping they come back again soon when I’m actually in the country! Nice shots Mr G.

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