Live: SLAVES // Alexandra Palace, London
Raucous and unpredictable, Slaves took us for a wild ride with their explosive set at London’s Alexandra Palace.
It’s incredible how just two men can make such a mess. Advocates for brutal honesty, Kent duo Slaves didn’t hold anything back as they took to the stage at the people’s palace last Saturday night. Celebrating the release of their most recent album, Acts Of Fear And Love, the show cemented them as the leading punk force on the current music scene.
Jam-packed with their signature raw and tongue-in-cheek material, the performance was full of swagger and rambunctious spirit. Exposing social conformity in an ironic and angry manner, Slaves have easily found their way in to the hearts and minds of troubled youth. With their infectious punk rock blend and thought-provoking lyrics, you can always count on them to tell you the truth whilst totally losing it at their live shows.
Kicking things off with a cover of Skepta’s Shutdown, Slaves had the whole Ally Pally going crazy from the very start, gearing up for the mayhem that was about to commence. Keeping the stage production to the minimal, with only their neon name sign hung above their heads and a set of blazing lights, the show was a testament to the band’s sharp live skills. Unapologetically defiant and genuine, Isaac Holman’s raspy vocals and propulsive drums mixed with Laurie Vincent’s thunderous guitars make quite a pair and witness these two perform live is truly something else.
Serving us a thrilling blend of their new stuff with old school favourites, Sockets burst into the ether with its dirty riffs and fast-paced rhythmics setting up a frenzied atmosphere for the night. Taken from their new album, Magnolia sparked with infectious beats and sardonic twists, whilst Cut And Run alongside Chokehold brought forth a solid punch of punk grittiness and piercing anger. Brimming with excitement and restlessness, the crowd was keeping up with the high energy of the band throughout the whole set.
In all their distorted coherence, Slaves truly manage to deliver a catchy, melodic tone that has the audience dancing and singing along. Uniting in all our rage and exasperation with current events, on both personal and universal levels, we let loose to their absolute banger Where’s Your Car Debbie? and rough sonics in Sugar Coated Bitter Truth.
A must-play in the capital, Cheer Up London accelerated the dynamics of the show even more, whilst the only slower moment of the entire set arrived in the form of an acoustic interval, Are You Satisfied?. Showing off their more sensitive side, it was refreshing to see the punk duo bring it down a notch allowing for a deeper reflection. But let’s not go too crazy, it was just for a brief moment.
With The Hunter launching the confetti cannons and closing the set, the chaotic glory of Slaves triumphed in London that night leaving us both satisfied and craving for more. If their shows are anything to go by, it looks like the punk revival is doing just fine in the modern world and Slaves are always there to soothe our angry souls.
Photos: Kasia Osowiecka