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Lower Than Atlantis - Trinity, Bristol - 3rd October 2012 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 09 October 2012 Written by Owen Sheppard
Lower Than Atlantis - Trinity, Bristol - 3rd October 2012 (Live Review)

Opening times for tonight’s show were barely an hour ago and already the 1000 capacity Bristol Trinity is buzzing with teenage adrenaline and blanketed in empty beer cups. Coinciding with the release of their major label debuting third studio album 'Changing Tune', Lower Than Atlantis have just embarked on the umpteenth tour of their prospering careers in beer guzzling provocative pop punk. Bands who tour as frequently and far and wide as these Watfordians tend to make a few friends on their travels and this time they’ve nailed the support slots and brought the likes of Gnarwolves, Don Broco and The Dangerous Summer along with them.

ImageLooking barely any older than half those in attendance, Gnarwolves deliver a convincing set of raw pop punk that’s akin to legends like The Descendants, with the necessary hallmark of Great British grit. Few here know them and this is probably the biggest tour they’ve been a part of, but their set was a convincing one that showed promise. When you’re a band this size and LTA offer you an opportunity to get seen and heard like this, you bloody well take it by the horns, and Gnarwolves did just that.

Next up were the ever entertaining Don Broco. It’s only 8pm and the venue is already packed to the rafters with a fair few Broco shirts on site too. With their debut full length that topped the official UK rock chart still not even two months old, there wasn’t a shadow of a doubt that Rob Damiani and co were going to provide the added draw for this mosh savvy, skinny jeaned Bristolian mob. As ever they deliver with a sleeve full of tricks. They literally walk us through 'Priorities' while selected newer numbers 'Whole Truth' and 'Hold On' incite giddying moshing and two walls of death along the way. They haven’t forgotten their roots though and a mighty 'Thug Workout' provides a climactic scrum of energy to the set. Their latest single 'Actors' wraps up another triumph from the four Bedford lads and as they walk off, you wonder if utterly stealing the show had been their plan all along.

The Dangerous Summer are the only non-UK band on tonight’s bill and they bring a brand of restrained American Pop Punk. Imagine something between All Time Low and the consistently low key aesthetic of Coldplay and you’re probably not far off. Despite being the main support act for this tour, they seemed even more unknown to this suddenly disinterested crowd than Gnarwolves were, and the contrast between this and Don Broco’s set is startling. In fairness though, their set was void of any kind of spontaneity or visceral stage presence that would warrant you feeling like checking them out the next day. They plodded through one identical sounding song after another with the charisma of secondary school geography teachers and a vocalist whose voice sounded like Tom Delonge’s best McLovin impression.

But now for the main event! Through the smoke and a new found love of strobing came our four Watfordian headliners. They’re spoilt for choice with material to choose from now but playing it safe while their newer tracks are still only days old, they stick primarily to a 'World Record' heavy set. 'Motor (Way Of Life)' opens proceedings to mass pogoing and then in come the hits. Brand spanking, new numbers 'Love Someone Else' and the infectiously catchy yet cerebral 'If The World Was To End' take the set off to a great start but it quickly becomes apparent that not all is quite right with front man Mike Duce.

He may be earning a reputation for his on stage nonsense but he sounds pretty earnest when he tells us “My voice sounds like I’ve been on a diet of sand paper and razorblades. I’m ill a fuck kids so I’m going to need your help”. Ben Swanson does what he can to provide some backing vocals but it’s clear that lead guitar is his only real forte.

An oldie but all round goodie, 'Taping Songs Off The Radio' provides a wonderful surprise for the die-hards who answer with the biggest circle pit of the night and twinned with Bug it creates a particularly energetic pinnacle to the show. 'Normally Strange' sounds the most grunge inspired track on their new record and combing one of their leanest riffs with a staple 'LTA' catchy as hell chorus, it too goes down a treat. Throughout all of this, Mike is looking worse for ware and understandably can’t help sounding slightly off kilter but there’s the unfinished business of nailing 'Deadliest Catch' and 'Uni 9mm' left to attend to.

At 10.30, looking considerably under the weather, Mike retreats from the stage and the rest follow as the house lights illuminate the emptying venue. No encore but you can forgive them for having given it their all despite the unavoidable illness. It’s been a more than passable effort and it’s off to their next motorway slog. You hope for his own sake though that Mike will take it easy on the booze for just this night.

Lower Than Atlantis UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue October 9th 2012 - O2 Academy Birmingham, Birmingham
Wed October 10th 2012 - The Cockpit, Leeds
Thu October 11th 2012 - Electric Ballroom, London
Fri October 12th 2012 - The Academy, Dublin
Sat October 13th 2012 - Sub, Belfast
Sun October 14th 2012 - Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Click Here to Compare & Buy Lower Than Atlantis Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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