A quick trip to Pitza Cano, sitting outside in the sun with a beer and a burger, and then we delve into the dark depths of The Brudenell Social Club to catch the first band of the evening, Bear Trade.
This evening, one of the members of Bear Trade is playing through the pain of an abscess on his face, which I have to highly commend before I even begin. Despite this, Bear Trade are a solid choice for kicking off this evening’s festivities. They’re not the most ground-breaking band, but they do what they do and they do it well with a positive attitude! Bear Trade are an amalgamation of all the UK punk bands that have come and gone. To name a few you may recognise, we have previous members here of; Former Cell Mates, The Mercury League and The Mingers. So they know exactly what they’re doing, playing a set charged with gruff vocal work and resonant guitars. If you’re a fan of bands like Hot Water Music and The Lawrence Arms then I see no reason why Bear Trade wouldn’t interest you. (3/5)
Next on the bill this evening are the ever wonderful, The Dauntless Elite. A straight up punk band from Leeds, Dauntless Elite are everything that’s right with the UK punk scene. Not only are they easily accessible and consistently good, they’re also a band that push on with each record released. They remain true to their roots yet manage to create an ever changing style and structure within each song and record that makes them stand tall above all their peers. Playing songs from ‘More Bloody Bad News’, it’s obvious this evening that they have the crowd’s full attention and rightly so. They can command a room with their on-stage wit and even more so with their hook filled anthems. I can safely say every time I see The Dauntless Elite I’m left even more sure that they’re one of my favourite UK punk bands. (4/5)
Pre-headline band this evening are Down and Outs. They’re another of the bands this evening that have been playing together for a long time and their solid performance just reiterates that. Playing a more pop punk vibe as opposed to the previous straight up punk bands of this evening, Down and Outs procure a decent sized crowd for their set. I have seen Down and Outs play various times in various cities over the years and although not a band I would necessarily listen to outside of a live setting, it’s easy to see why they’re still going strong. They offer music similar to that of early Green Day and Leatherface and I would think that for people just getting into punk, Down and Outs would be a recommendation I would highly consider. At the end of the day though, every band prior to Iron Chic this evening are just friends playing music together with no hidden agenda, and it’s a positive environment to be a part of. (3/5)
After another small interval come the band we’ve all been waiting on since their previous visit 2 years ago, Iron Chic. With their anthemic tracks, melodic 90’s emo guitars and exuberant vocal harmonies, there really is nothing you can’t enjoy about this band. As soon as they begin the crowd down the front are immediately screaming along and getting involved. *I want to smash my face, into that goddamn radio" is echoed back and around the room. Iron Chic are a band that it seems, without even trying, manage to create music that just spring you into a positive momentum and continue it on throughout their whole set. It really takes a lot for me to want to get actively involved at some shows these days but Iron Chic remain one of those bands that every time I see them, I can’t help but scream along with a smile on my face. Watching bands like this with your best friends is really what the punk scene is all about and it’s times like these that I’m happy to be a part of something so great. Playing all the favourites from ‘Not Like This’, Iron Chic blast through a set full of energy and uplifting sing along quality and with 2 encores this evening, it’s safe to say that I, and the crowd, love them and will continue to support this band onwards. (5/5)
Words by Rosie Kerr