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Live: MOVEMENTS // Camden Assembly, London

California’s Movements round off their first ever UK tour with a raucous show at Camden Assembly.

I returned home after this show with only one bruise on my body, which I think can be considered a massive success.

After their last year’s UK tour with Knuckle Puck was cancelled, we had to wait a bit longer to finally welcome Movements on our shores. Camden Assembly is a fairly intimate venue though, hence my worries about the course of tonight’s events. With their propulsive catalogue and the first rows already jam-packed with the most dedicated fans, it looks like it’s gonna be a rowdy night. It is a sell out after all.

There’s no doubt Movements are one of the most exciting bands the alternative music scene has to offer these days. They also released one of the most astonishing debuts I’d heard in years. Binding every chord and every note with an emotional impact, Feel Something paints a vivid portrayal of the human existence, embracing all its happiness and innermost pain. Thought-provoking and genuine, it is sure to resonate with every nerve in your body. And their live shows are just as intense.

“Push it forward!”, vocalist Patrick Miranda commands as the band dives headfirst into the album’s opener Full Circle. Introducing spoken word Movements demonstrate an innovative approach that magnifies throughout the record. This also transforms into live format in a truly unique manner.

From the very start it becomes obvious that the audience has been waiting for this performance for a long time. With constant stage diving and crowd surfing taking over the place, I can barely see the band on stage. “Please stay away from pedal boards when you jump on stage”, Patrick feels like it might be the right moment to address the eager crowd, adding: “Otherwise we won’t be able to make any noise.” Needless to say, this didn’t lessen the rambunctious mood dominating in the room.

Having built a polychromatic world of sounds, blending colour-themed songs, Movements showcase a true musical versatility tangled with an exceptional passion. Deep Red soars on groovy bass lines punching us with their already signature lyrical twists, whilst Colorblind serves a perfect balance of giant anthemic rock and melodic sensibility.

Despite a few moments of evident technical issues with the overall sound, which may be caused by the crowd’s interference on stage of course, Movements seem pretty focused on their performance. Creating a solid world around themselves their live prowess strikes with precision, bringing their inner interactions down to minimum. With no backing vocals, Miranda’s frontman skills are successfully tested. Elsewhere in the set Spencer York’s drumwork shines on their compelling track Deadly Dull – “This one is for everyone who had to watch someone suffer from dementia.”

In between a few “Fuck yeah” and “This is sick”, the bond between the band and the crowd gradually tightens. “We just want to express our gratitude. Thank you so much. It’s our first time in this country and it’s sold out. This is for those who had listened to us before Feel Something came out”, they say before presenting some forceful songs from their Outgrown Things EP.

With the crowd chanting and demanding an encore, the band shifts the setlist around a little bit and exclaims: “Okay, fine that’s two more songs. This is the first song we’ve ever written”.

Having said that, Protection releases another outburst of energy and emotions. Rounding things off with the absolutely compelling and emotionally driven song, Daylily sees the audience with many phones flashing in the air, uniting for this last moment of mutual empathy. This track is an inspiring and powerful way to face mental health illness, glorifying those brighter days (“pink cloud summer”) when in state of self-doubt and depression. In a world of uncertainty and mental struggles, this seems like the only way to say ‘goodbye’.

Movements’ music is highly demanding, constantly intriguing the listeners with complex metaphors and personal insights. But it also translates into an utter live madness, which makes them a really special band. I am really looking forward to seeing them on a much bigger stage.

Photos: Kasia Osowiecka