Melbourne punk quartet The Smith Street Band have been around for just over 5 years not but it’s only in the last couple that they’ve really managed to announce themselves to the UK punk scene. Tonight they were playing at the Lexington in North London as one of two warm up shows for their first appearances at Reading and Leeds festivals at the end of the month.
From the moment the band took to the stage in front of a sold out crowd above the Lexington in North London you could feel a sense of camaraderie and enjoyment which is really what small punk shows should all be about. Every word sung by frontman Will Wagner (and I mean literally every single one) was sung back with the deafening enthusiasm and by the end of the set when songs like Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams and Young Drunk were dropped people were crowd surfing and stage diving in their dozens and it was chaotic and great fun.
New tracks from the bands most recent album Throw Me In The River received every bit as great of a reception as the older tracks in tonight’s set and in addition to these newer tracks the Aussies treated the crowd to some rarer cuts from the bands back catalogue including I Can’t Feel My Face and Sunshine & Technology. Undoubtedly the biggest cheer of the night was for new song Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face which deals with the right wing government in Australia’s draconian policies on those seeking Asylum in the country. Hearing a room full of people shout along in solidarity with a cause from literally the other side of the planet was beautiful to see, especially given the anti-asylum seeker rhetoric being spewed by our press in the past week.
This was an incredible show, with both the band and the audience pouring their hearts out and really giving it their all (which was very impressive given the band had only flown into the UK from Australia the previous day). The Smith Street Band are perhaps the most honest and genuine band in contemporary punk rock and based on tonight’s evidence they’re only going to go from strength to strength. If you’re going to Reading and Leeds Festivals at the end of the month I urge you to go and see them!
Cameron Law – @Deadend_Friend