Sløtface – The Hope & Ruin – 24th October 2017

I first discovered Sløtface at The Great Escape Festival earlier this year and was blown away by them there, though unfortunately, I did not catch their whole set as I had to move on to another gig. Since then they have released their first album Try Not To Freak Out, which seems to have caught the ear of quite a few people. So I was quite excited to see the full set tonight.

First up were Clever Thing who we interviewed earlier this year where they said,“Between the four of us we’ve been in well over 30 ‘serious’ bands,” which is probably why their sound is so hard to nail down. There’s a bit of bubblegum, surf-rock, rock from the 70s through to the 90s and a lot of punk. By the end of the very enjoyable set I had come to the conclusion that this band is like what Suzi Quatro would be doing if she was braking into the music scene now. I’ve not seen a support band that has held my attention that well for ages and they finished on a surprisingly gently track that further showed their diversity. They play Brighton quite often at the moment and are well worth checking out if you get the chance.

I’ve not had a lot of time to listen to the Sløtface album since it came out but when their set kicked off with the album’s opener ‘Magazine’, it already felt like an old friend. There were a few people manically bouncing around at the front, encouraging others to join in and a few songs into the set the band called for a moshpit and from there on in the venue was bouncing for the whole night. The band onstage seemed to have boundless energy too, as they progressed through a good mixture of tracks off the album interspersed with older songs.

Towards the end of the gig the venue really started to feel like a classic 70s punk venue, with the humidity rising and over half the crowd bouncing around to the music. It was a good mix of ages there too, with younger kids in the maelstrom and a crowd of older punks lurking round the edges nodding away with deep admiration. There is so much to like about this band that it seems to be sucking in people from many places. In our recent radio interview the band said that they waited till they felt it was the right time to make a full album, after releasing a few singles and EPs. Well I think they have got it right as they certainly seem to be the finished article now.

At the end of the gig there was a massive queue for the merchandise table and a chance to meet the band and you got the feeling that this could be one of those ‘seeing a band in a small sweaty venue before they went ballistic’ type gigs. Next year, hopefully, they will be hitting the big stages of the festival circuit and I will certainly be making an effort to catch them at one of these.

I’m often quite cynical about some of the modern music around at the moment, not being as good as it used to be, though these two band blew me away and restored my faith that there are still bands out there that can capture the imagination and bring something new.