Tonight, four bands have collectively sold out The Cockpit. The dark, dingy venue is prone to high temperatures at the best of times, let alone when it’s packed with several hundred music fans all waiting for this fantastic line up to perform.
Kicking off the night is punk outfit Gnarwolves. Being the first band on is a tough act but this didn’t stop the three-piece from stepping out onto the stage and putting their all into their performance. ‘History Is Bunk’ starts the set going into ‘Party Jams’ where they are joined by their friend Ben as a guest vocalist, which adds further substance to this live version. ‘Community, Stability, Entity’ is a definite crowd pleaser, where one shouted “I love this song!” and the band saw continued involvement with their fans singing the words back to them. Their rapid energy is captivating and I was very impressed with their performance tonight. (3.5/5)
Next up was Bedford’s cheeky chaps Don Broco. Entering their set with first hit off and title track off of their debut full-length ‘Priorities’ the boys had the crowd warming to them immediately. It wouldn’t be a Don Broco show without an offering of their trademark walk, not to mention stopping half way through their hit ‘Thug Workout’ to get members of the crowd to do press ups. This was the best song of their set, then encouraging the crowd to split in the middle to commence with a wall of death. Charismatic front man Rob Damiani seemed taken aback by the crowd singing back the words without being prompted to ‘Whole Truth,’ a non-single track off the record. Considering that they’re only the second band on out of a four band line up, Don Broco could have easily headlined The Cockpit tonight and despite having their set cut short, the crowd appeared to have the time of their lives. (4/5)
Calming the atmosphere down somewhat is The Dangerous Summer who plays to an almost static crowd. This isn’t anything to do with people not being interested in their set, despite the lack of interaction the crowd cheered along and showed their enthusiasm in between songs. I was told by a friend before I went to the show that people wouldn’t appreciate The Dangerous Summer live if they hadn’t listened to them before, and this I think could be said for a portion of the crowd who spent more time by the merch desks for this performance. I’ll be the first to admit that I hadn’t listened to the band before but I stuck them out and completely appreciated their set, with their calmer performance giving the crowd time to breathe before the headline act that they’d been waiting eagerly for. (3.5/5)
After The Dangerous Summer’s set also being cut short the temperature began to rise, with everybody packing themselves into the already small venue room to watch headliners Lower Than Atlantis. Opening their set with ‘Love Someone Else’, a track off their new album ‘Changing Tune’ the band seem set for a strong performance tonight. Next up is a personal favourite of mine (and the majority of the venue’s it seems) ‘(Motor) Way Of Life’, a track that filled the room with much deserved energy. Dedicating ‘Far Q’ to the crowd, vocalist Mike Duce spoke of his gratitude for the continued and expanding support of Lower Than Atlantis fans. Much to everybody’s enjoyment, the front two thirds of the venue turned into a sea of bodies crashing against each other during this song. Slowing the set down with another new track ‘Scared Of The Dark’ the band were just as captivating as they already had been, with fans chanting “LTA! LTA!” and cheering so loud that it’s safe to say Lower Than Atlantis deserve all of the support that they’re getting. (4/5)
With hundreds of sweat-dripping people pouring out of The Cockpit, I’m sure that I can say on behalf of everybody that tonight has been something special. A great line up of bands hosting a diverse set of genres that kept the crowd on their toes. No wonder the show was a sell out, it deserved to be.
Words by Hannah Gillicker (@HannahGillicker)