Knuckle Puck @ Joiners, Southampton – 29/03/2016

Tonight at The Joiners Southampton, pop punk paradise is truly apparent. Knuckle Puck are a band with a strong following and to add to the genre-heavy night, they’ve got Seaway and Boston Manor in tow; both bands gaining a lot of attention quickly.

Boston Manor open the night with their charming combination of melodic riffs and softer vocals for a ‘pop-punk’ band. One of the most enjoyable things about their set is that the Blackpool band’s vocalist, Henry Cox, avoids that generic nasal voice that nearly every band in this scene takes on.

If you’d walked in a little late in the middle of Boston Manor’s performance, you’d assume that you were so late that you joined during the headliner’s set. The crowd are going wild and give the band an incredible reception.

The same goes for Seaway however, with most of the crowd shouting back at lead vocalist Ryan Locke. This is the pinnacle of crowd involvement with crowd-surfers galore and an abundance of ‘finger-pointing’.

The band sound great as they stomp around the stage and fans out-sing Ryan on opener ‘Airhead’.

This night is a reminder of how strong the pop-punk scene is. The support bands complete the night and really set the tone for the crowd’s reaction during headliners, Knuckle Puck. These kids are chucking themselves on and off stage and grabbing the mic at any possible moment.

While this is fantastically tantalising, it almost casts a shadow over Knuckle Puck’s set. The band put on a good show, but, it didn’t seem special like a headliner’s set should do. If anything, it morphed into the rest of the night.

I was aware of Knuckle Puck before I headed to this show, but I wasn’t a fan. Nor was I of either support bands. Both support bands highly impressed me, while I was almost a little bored during Knuckle Puck’s set.

There was nothing wrong with their performance, and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. But I feel perhaps you needed to be familiar with their songs for them to hold any weight live.

One thing this band are nonetheless, is crowd-pleasers. They play a brilliantly varied set, featuring tracks throughout their entire discography, including both songs from their split with Neck Deep. ‘Untitled’ was a perfect ending to the main set, with a haunting ambient outro.

An unplanned encore occurred following a relentless chant of ‘one more song’ from the crowd. ‘Evergreen’ was the song of choice for the audience when vocalist Joe Taylor asked what they’d like to hear.

The odd slip-up and timing mistakes from the band could be forgiven due to the outstanding passion shown in this small venue. It was somewhat of an average and predictable set, but one that was amplified and pardoned by an incredible crowd reception.


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