Before stumbling across the single ‘Orthodox Man’ from their debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’, I had heard whispers throughout the music press that Blaenavon were an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with. With their expertly assembled assortment of jangly guitar riffs and floaty vocals, they are taking the indie music scene by storm and show no signs of stopping.
On their latest tour, they’re travelling across the country before embarking on a European tour with Sundara Karma and an American tour with The Wombats early next year. I was lucky enough to catch them at Gorilla in Manchester, a stop the band were particularly excited about knowing the rich musical appreciation and history the city has to offer. After being treated to opening acts from Plaza and The Night Café, (who certainly peaked my interest when they announced they will be returning to Manchester on their tour in January) Blaenavon appeared to roaring applause as they began their 13 song setlist with ‘Hell Is My Head’.
The crowd were reeling by the time the track ‘Let’s Pray’ rang out and as they began ‘My Bark Is Your Bite’ (my personal favourite) the energy in the room was palpable and enhanced the entire experience, as the core group of fanatical attendees sang out practically every last syllable. The lads were clearly taken aback by such adoring support and even commented that a number of the tracks were “the best they’d ever heard live” and that “hearing your own songs sung back to you is really f*cking cool”. By the time their encore arrived, aside from being demonstrably exhausted from what was an impressive mosh pit for such a small venue, I was totally in awe of how a band with a seemingly small following could produce fans with such a staunch love for everything about them.
Ben Gregory (the band’s frontman & owner of a set of very luscious locks) launched himself into the crowd and looked to be on top of the world as the final triplet of songs (‘That’s Your Lot’, ‘Prague ’99’ and ‘Orthodox Man’) came to a close. Their remarkable sound and ability to ad-lib so effortlessly on stage makes them an absolute pleasure to watch and to see so many beaming faces around me who were equally consumed with love for this group of lads was an honour to experience. I urge anyone who has the opportunity to attend any of their future gigs to seriously consider it, as it was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my entire year.
I also wrote a review of Blaenavon’s debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’ earlier this year, which you can find here: http://scan.lusu.co.uk/index.php/2017/05/12/blaenavon-thats-your-lot-album-review/
‘That’s Your Lot’ is out now via Transgressive Records: