pronoun, Movements and The Wonder Years deliver a passion-fuelled masterclass in East London.
With the sun out on what felt to be the first day of spring, spirits were high ahead of the pop-punk take over of East London.
Plonked in the middle of a residential area, the exterior of Troxy is rustic and brickly – ‘edgy’ if you will – but not the kind of place that I would have pinned as the perfect location to host some of the pop-punk’s biggest names. Despite this, my doubts were blown away when I got inside. Beautifully carpeted and creatively organised, the cavernous innards of the venue were breathtakingly impressive and only fuelled further excitement for the evening’s upcoming events.
Unenviably tasked with opening to a modest crowd, pronoun arrived on the stage with a breath of fresh air. Whistling through a handful of songs, the artist rose to the magnitude of the venue and delivered a mix of new and old bops. Helped along by the bliss February weather, the atmosphere that surrounded their performance was courageously positive.
With a new LP on the horizon, it feels as though pronoun could be on the verge of big things. Something delicately different – pronoun need to be heard.
Luckily enough for me, I had the chance to see Movements on UK soil before this show. Flashback to May ’18, the Californian 4-piece tore apart the intimate Camden Assembly, setting the standard for the band’s long-anticipated return to the London. Now playing to the biggest UK crowd to date, there was a fizzing excitement swimming through the venue.
Arriving on the stage with little to no fuss, Movements assembled. Slamming into Third Degree, the band ensued to deliver nothing short of a masterclass. Playing a handful of hits from 2017’s fantastic Feel Something the band really did showcase their talents to a crowd that seemed to be omitting appreciation. Colorblind was the highlight of these tunes, really displaying how impressive the band are live. Technically proficient and vocally powerful, every single note was hit with ease.
Kept served as a nice moment of reflection in the set. Outgrown Things, the band’s first EP, is an incredible release that I feel has been slightly overlooked since the release of Feel Something. However, it was great to hear them play a song from this release and the energy it was delivered with showed that they still have a passion for playing the songs that got them to the dance.
After a brief conversation with frontman Patrick Miranda after their performance, it seemed as though there was no sign of the wheels falling off the Movements train. With the release of a new album coming quicker than you might think, the next 12 months could game-changing for not just the band, but the genre too.
Their performance was nothing short of flawless.
The Wonder Years
There was a sense of honest desperation about the way The Wonder Years burst onto the stage. For them, this was not the last night of their most recent UK tour, but in fact the end of a month-long tour of Europe. The band had been spreading their latest collection of songs across the continent, including headlining shows in Iceland and Spain. Joining up with pronoun, Movements and Mayday Parade for the last few shows across the UK, The Wonder Years were fuelled solely by their passion for music as they closed out their exhausting run of Sister Cities.
Opening with this titular track, the bar was instantly set at a high that I don’t think I had seen them reach before. I have seen the band around 8 times, made memories with my friends to their music and confessed my love for them to almost everyone I have ever met – but, this performance was special. Whether it was Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell’s rough around the edges vocals in the opening three tracks, seeing him drape his body across the stage, or just seeing them in such a mammoth setting, the band really did leave everything they had on that stage.
They rattled through a trio of songs from their 2nd, 3rd and 4th albums, mixing them intermittently with some of the jewels of Sister Cities. The inclusion of songs such as Local Man Ruins Everything and Don’t Let Me Cave In was special, giving the band’s die-hard fans something to pine after. Passing Through a Screen Door and Dismantling Summer were delivered with utter perfection and Cigarettes and Saints was one of the highlights of the night. Dedicated to Tim Landers, formerly of Transit, there was something particularly moving about the delivery of the lyric “I lit you a candle in every Cathedral across Europe”. A special moment, from a wonderful set.
The show ended with Soupy screaming from his soapbox: “WE GAVE YOU EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING WE HAD… WE ARE THE WONDER YEARS… AND WE CAME OUT SWINGING”. Cue THAT guitar. It was time to say goodbye the right way. The crowning track of the entire show, Came Out Swinging was not only the perfect way to end the night but also the band’s latest chapter. Despite the dramatic announcement that precluded this track, he was right – it did feel as though the band did leave everything they had on the stage.
5/5 Bytes. Callum Huthwaite.