Affirming, unflinching and pandemonium-inducing… take a look inside PUP’s latest masterclass in London.
PUP have been on a whirlwind worldwide ascension to success following the release of their third LP, Morbid Stuff, earlier this year. The album has confirmed, if there was ever any doubt, that they are one of the alternative scene’s stonewall pillars of excellence and that there is a very bright future for the four humble lads from Ontario. After an emphatic performance in the Capital back in April, the band were back on British shores to bookend a truly unforgettable 12 months with two sold-out shows at the iconic Electric Ballroom.
With support coming in the form of Fresh and Slotface, the atmosphere inside the four walls of Camden’s most notorious venues was vibrant before the evening’s main event had even made their way to the stage. The evening commenced with an ode to the band’s latest release, Morbid Stuff and immediately, everyone came together as one to let the four-piece know just how much the UK had missed them.
From here, the setlist took a predictable, yet welcome course, welcoming classics such as Sleep in the Heat and Familiar Patterns into the fold to join newer hits, Kids and Free at Last. Each song, no matter which album it had come from, was welcomed with equal excitement as 1500 voices joined in harmony to form the world’s most unorthodox, yet adoring choir.
In a heartwarming and passionate interlude between songs, Stefan Babcock took some time to introduce one of his favourite songs to play live, Dark Days, alluding to how proud they all were with how far they have come since the song was recorded in bassist Nestor Chumak’s basement. The response to the tune was equally as wholesome, as every single person in the room emptied their lungs to scream: “We’ve had some dark days / We’re in the thick of it now / And when the ice breaks / There will be no one around” back at the band with goosebump-inducing emotion.
During some light-hearted moments, which saw Babcock and co. joke about his ability to shred and the crowd’s somewhat tepid response to the band hybridizing Full Blown Meltdown into a Black Sabbath’s iconic War Pigs, the show offered total humility, a well-earned respite from the appalling weather and, after some timely ‘FUCK THE TORIES’ chants, a platform to release some frustration about the political turbulence of the day.
The evening was brought to a close by (you guessed it) the band’s most adored couple: If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will and DVP. The result? Utter eruption. The evening had provided many moments for the room to show their appreciation for PUP’s music with timely jumping and circle pits, but the announcement of this song sent the Ballroom into a riot. Every note was admired and the nature in which the audience beamed during these tunes just spotlighted just how deserving PUP are of opportunities such as these – long may their success continue.
PUP are a must-see band for anyone who loves authenticity, unflinching performances and having fun… do yourself a favour next time they stop by the Big Smoke.