Gig Review: Slaves - O2 Academy, 7th Novemeber 2018

Bruce Skelton reviews

Bruce Skelton
15th November 2018
credit: youtube


Whilst you might think that a 2-piece boy band would leave a stage looking and feeling barren, the two characters from Tunbridge Wells are both larger than life. Their attitude and charisma ensured that everything from festival main stages to underground basements are as full, personal and as close-quartered as possible. Their movement and crowd interaction are second to none with drummer and vocalist Isaac Holman standing for each and every pound of his drums.

[pullquote]the audience screamed every last word right back at them[/pullquote]

Forming as recently as 2012, Slaves’ accession to their current stature has been a speedy, momentous and energy fuelled adventure. This sold out curtain raiser for their 13-date tour of the UK and Ireland was no different.

The Newcastle crowd were palpably transfixed following the support acts Willie J Healey and Lady Bird. In some ways both were well matched to Slaves’ style, and whilst Lady Bird had a very similar sound, even their extra band member couldn’t quite bring their presence up to that of the headliners.

Not a moment after Holman’s drums had been thrown together and Laurie’s amps turned up, they opened with 'Sockets'. A solid choice, as the audience screamed every last word right back at them.

The set went on to consist of a large number of tracks from their immensely successful 2015 album Are You Satisfied? However, the likes of 'Chokehold', 'Magnolia' and 'The lives They Wish They Had' from their newest album Acts Of Fear And Love, were unquestionably adored.

Holman continues to run the show, whether he’s waving his arms to portray a manta ray - or asking the crowd to join him in sticking it to all those whose who have previously questioned their style. But really, where is his hi-hat?

At the time I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with their decision not to come back out for an encore, something which has now become the norm at every gig. Nevertheless, it felt like they gave everything they had to give in their final song 'The Hunter', to which the crowd definitely weren’t dissatisfied. In hindsight, it completely fits their image to not care what others want or think and to refuse to conform to the norm.

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