Astroid Boys – The Prince Albert, Brighton – 15th January 2019

Astroid Boys - The Prince Albert, Brighton - 15th December 2019
Photo by Joe Boothby

Despite this being my fourth time seeing Astroid Boys live, I was especially excited to see them perform at The Prince Albert, as I really didn’t know what to expect this time around. A lot had changed within the Welsh group that put hardcore-grime on the map since their last live performance I saw, supporting Enter Shikari at the Brighton Centre back in 2017.

Following the release of their official debut album Broke in the same year, things were looking incredibly promising for the group. However, commitments outside of their music forced the majority of the members to part ways from Astroid Boys, eventually leaving Benjamin “Benji Wild” Kendall as the only original member to remain.

While we still managed to get a single since then in the form of ‘Blows’, it was this show, part of the ‘One Last Round’ tour, that came as confirmation that Benji intends to wrap it up for good after the tour ends. With all things considered, I knew that this performance will be an incredibly special one, as it will most likely serve as Brighton’s farewell to such a musical staple.

This show was initially intended to be held at The Haunt. However, a venue change to The Prince Albert made me even more intrigued to find out how this show would go down. When I arrived at the venue, it was extremely clear that The Prince Albert had worked very hard to properly accommodate the acts, with an Astroid Boys banner and a merch stall already set up.

The show really didn’t take long to set things alight. With the support act from Pengshui getting fans hyped up instantly. It was my first time hearing the group, but it was as clear as day why they were such a good choice to support Astroid Boys. Their mixture of electronic noise, hardcore rhythms and fast-paced lyrical flow made them an instant hit with everybody at the venue. The fans certainly weren’t stingy when it came to spending a lot of their energy on all of Pengshui’s awesome live tracks which even included a cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Light Up The Sky’, which they added their own hardcore-grime twist to. Pengshui were incredible and honestly couldn’t have put on a better performance. They are definitely a group to look out for.

It was pretty much inevitable that as soon as Benji set foot on stage to represent the musical legacy of Astroid Boys that it would be a special set. Even his mic checks were followed by countless cheers. The set itself consisted of a brilliant collection of tracks from all of the different records that Astroid Boys had put out. As a long time fan, I was especially pleased to hear all of their Bacon Dream hits such as ‘Minging’, ‘Dusted’ and even the slow jam ‘Sticky’.

Benji spoke a lot about the 10 year lifespan of Astroid Boys since they formed back in their hometown of Cardiff and had a fantastic stage presence that kept the show very light-hearted. I was remarkably impressed with his talent and skill when it came to filling in for the other past members. It offered a very interesting perspective when listening to Benji (along with two fellow musicians) perform with the same quality and energy as any of the Astroid Boys sets I’ve seen in the past.

This live show might honestly stand as the most chaotic one that I will ever witness at The Prince Albert, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Stage dives, mosh pits, this live set had it all. Thanks to the intimacy that the venue always manages to provide, this was definitely the most unique, and quite possibly my favourite, Astroid Boys show. The kind of energy that it created was extremely rare and from beginning to end, it was a thrilling spectacle to behold.

Joe Boothby

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