LIVE REVIEW: Boston Manor with Can’t Swim and Wallflower, Bristol

It must be a good time to be Boston Manor. The Blackpool based quintet are off on their first headline tour of the UK and Europe off the back of their debut album, Be Nothing. That’s not to say they haven’t worked for it every step of the way, however. It’s been a long graft for the boys, but they’re selling out venues around the UK and putting on some of the best shows in pop punk. We caught their tour at Bristol’s renowned Louisiana to see what the fuss was about.

The first band on Boston Manor‘s bill is Wallflower, another five-piece from South London. Wallflower‘s music springs from a vibrant variety of influences, from emo, punk, post-hardcore and more. There’s a lot going on here, and it’s frankly amazing that the band can perform it as well as they do. Their set consisted of both unreleased songs and material from their previous EP’s. Set highlights included 2016 single Sleep Forever and some of the band’s eclectic new material, yet without a name to mention. [8/10]

At this point, it’s relevant to mention that the sound quality at the Louisiana was top notch, doing each of the bands proud.

Can’t Swim, an American punk outfit were second on the bill, and were met by a knot of dedicated fans that provided their set with motion and response. Whether the audience knew them or not, however, Can’t Swim got Bristol moving; with the first pits of the evening kicking in hard. New single Stranger proved to be a hit, as did previous work such as Come HomeLater on in the evening, Boston Manor frontman Henry Cox reported that Can’t Swim had described the gig as the best they’d ever played, and it’s not hard to see why from their proficiency and the response they garnered. Playing with grit and enthusiasm, Can’t Swim warmed the crowd up in style. [7/10]

Boston Manor took to the stage to massive applause, and launched into Burn You Up, the first song from Be Nothing. There was no warm up period for this crowd, who were instantly stirred to a fervour in the packed out 140 capacity venue. Both band and crowd were infused with seemingly limitless energy, with pits erupting non-stop, crowd surfers flying and stage divers throwing themselves back into the fray.

The lion’s share of Boston Manor‘s set rightfully went to their new album Be Nothing, ranging from the rapid-paced Stop Trying, Be Nothing to slower laments like Broken Glass and Fossa. It must have been reassuring for the band that their new material kicked off just as powerfully as their older songs; which they threw back as far as the title track from their 2014 EP Driftwood. The frenetic, jubilant chaos of the gig had the temperature soaring, and drummer Jordan Pugh stripped off his t-shirt as one of the band’s faithful tour staff fanned him with a spare towel.

Boston Manor closed their set with the lead singles from their past two releases: Laika and Trapped Nerve. Both of these provided a seismic response. Vocalist Henry Cox was quite literally dripping with sweat as were half of the crowd, but they didn’t give it up for a second, bringing the gig to a close in style. There was a sense of euphoria among the band as they exited the stage to a beautiful Bristol rendition of Hey Jude. It’s hard to call anything perfect, but there are no flaws to pick in Boston Manor‘s set. Musically and vocally, the boys are on top form and they’ve got the energy to keep it moving. [10/10]

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English student, lifeguard and journalist. Always listening to music, live music where possible. Mainlining on pop punk and metal, most rock and dabbling in indie.

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