Punch. Attitude. Dirt. The Cardiff 5-piece, Astroid Boys, do not hold back. With punk, hardcore and grime influences, their sound is unique and packs a lot into each and every song. This statement is most true when it comes to their latest single Dirt, the heaviest part of their new album Broke. With grungy guitars, aggressive vocals and a head-bob inducing rhythm, it didn’t disappoint live. Supporting Enter Shikari alongside Lower Than Atlantis, the boys had a Brighton audience raring to go and full of energy, something they capitalised on and worked with ease.
After loosening up the room a bit with Mask and Cheque, and shifting the crowd slightly left because “it just feels better”, they came straight in with the aforementioned Dirt to which everyone lost it… in a good way. I didn’t see a bored face in the Brighton Centre, each one lit up instantly from the genre defying bounce that Astroid Boys produced. In a similar fashion, the band themselves looked as if they were really enjoying it, something evidently contagious and essential to a captivating performance; the energy on stage was undeniable.
Despite the peak in their set being Dirt, the upbeat vibe was upheld through to the very end with ‘Ghost’ being the penultimate track, however the band savoured Dusted for the finale. With the insane crack of Harry’s snare, the crowd was sent wild and as an infectiously jumpy track, it was a great set-ender.
With such an original sound and style, it’s unsurprising the guys have managed to harbour themselves a sizeable following, undeniably worthy of the large venue the Brighton Centre is. Astroid Boys have set the bar very high for themselves, with Broke being their first full-length debut album, the contagious energy they perform with and their unique sound, I have no doubt they’ll meet it. I look forward to whatever they produce next.
Lower Than Atlantis
A decade strong now, LTA seem like old hands at the live performance game, and this showed in their set. Despite coming out with the expected energy the band have, Mike Duce soon settled down into a relatively ordinary show. Had Enough and Emily got the crowd bouncing at the start but by the middle of the set it almost seemed like the enjoyment from the band just wasn’t there
This isn’t to say it was bad at all though. Finishing with the undoubtedly jumpy English Kids in America and then Here We Go, the Watford boys managed to bring it back and show the LTA we all know and love. Perhaps the ‘half-time plateau’ came from them being support rather than headliners, but they definitely went out on a high. Their set ended with Duce in the pit with the crowd and Ben, Eddy and Dec holding it down on stage.
Enter Shikari, you are something to behold! With frontman Rou Reynolds at the helm, the show felt like a theatrical performance rather than a gig. “Hello carbon life forms” was the manner in which the audience were addressed before breaking into The Sights, the audience erupting into song as we were all reminded quite how good the 4-piece are. No pause. Straight into Solidarity, met by moshing throughout the Brighton Centre and incredible energy from the guys up front, including Rou’s well-known jittering and flailing across the stage.
Even the lighting and set reflected the immense creativity this band have. A huge light-platform lowering above their heads before “phase two” was initiated. “CAN YOU HEAR THE WAR CRY?” echoed around the room as The Last Garrison kicked it up a gear, sweat dripping from all in the mosh pit. This one was followed up with one of my personal favourites from the new album, Undercover Agents. Despite being very newly released, everyone knew the lyrics, filling the seafront venue with a huge sense of community. This was reflected again very soon after when the crowd caught the band’s attention, who stopped the gig and to ensure an injured fan was safely carried out of the mosh pit to security, something Rou thanked the audience for which was a reminder of what an amazing community the scene has.
Following this, the audience was distracted with misdirection whilst the frontman disappeared off stage before appearing on a second, smaller stage on the opposite side of the room. Complete with piano and G&T, an intimate Airfield and Adieu were played, half of the crowd choosing to sit on the floor, lighters aloft. Back on the main stage, Anaesthetist was followed by the “quick fire round”. 4 songs played in 8 minutes. Following this, Sorry, You’re Not a Winner received the response it deserves with crowd surfers and moshing in all areas of the audience; but the closing of the set was approaching fast. Finishing with Zzzonked, the guys came back out to play Redshift and the hugely popular Live Outside – again the Brightonian crowd responded in harmony with Shikari, singing their hearts out with every single word.
Having been aware of their track record, it’s unsurprising Enter Shikari can put on a show like this but when you’re there watching it live, it really is incredible how effortlessly they devote everything to the music. They are true masters of the stage.
A huge thank you to Warren and Astroid Boys for this incredible opportunity.