Slaves @ Thekla, Bristol, 13/05/2015

SlavesThere's more than a touch of irony in two white boys from middle class Kent calling themselves Slaves, but it's said duo that are the reason tonight at Thekla is a sold out show. Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent are one of the UK scene's hottest properties right now, riding the crest of BBC Radio One backing and a growing fan base nationwide.

Opening bands Crows and Baby Strange have suitably prepared the swelling crowd, my arrival coming at the tail end of the latter's set as the Bristol traffic has been reliably irritating. As Slaves take the stage, you can almost feel the anticipation pulsing through the venue. The band tear into opener "White Knuckle Ride", and it's as if the pressure has been released - mayhem ensues. Their methods are extraordinary; Holman plays his kit standing, uses the 'wrong' end of his sticks and yelping into his mic while doing so, as Vincent plays his guitar (and occasionally a bass) through a bass amp, giving a crunchy, distorted wall of sound.

Holman, sweating profusely as he abuses his drum kit, announces, "Let's have a very silly time together Bristol" - and with songs such as "Where's Your Car, Debbie?" (about walking a girl back to her car and encountering Sasquatch) and "Feed The Mantaray" (documenting noisy neighbours and somehow, says Holman, a mantaray got involved...) there's no danger in us having anything else. The floor has become a swirling pool of human bodies, and the now shirtless drummer and vocalist encourages his axe-wielding compatriot to go crowd surfing, to which Vincent eagerly obliges, taking with him a packet of Hob Nobs, handing them out as he goes.

Despite the utter mayhem, there's a method to Slaves' madness. The old songs go down famously, the new singles are greeted with acclaim, and we are even treated to a previously unheard track, which gives us great anticipation for the forthcoming Are You Satisfied? The duo are a bundle of fun, there's nothing serious to tonight's show and everyone is enjoying themselves immensely. There is a beauty to a band like Slaves; too many young bands are very serious and forget why they started to play live in the first place. Vincent and Holman are having no such issues, they're entertaining their audience and having a ball doing so.

This is a band that I could see live again and again; there's no hidden agenda, no deep emotion or attitude, in fact as Isaac sings during "The Hunter": "It's useless, it's pointless but it's all so very fun!" A perfect definition of tonight's show.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *