by Jess Boswell
It’s been a little while since the UK got a good taste of alt-rockers Lower Than Atlantis in a headline environment. They make their return (since supporting Enter Shikari last year) a valiant one, covering many corners of the UK. Lower Than Atlantis are a band of true unique prowess when on stage. During their set, audience and band are one entity. When you stand watching a LTA show, you can’t help but feel like you are just watching some old friends have a good time and playing some great songs. This string of shows across the regions of the UK is a special one. The Hertfordshire bred quartet make appearances at intimate venues, taking time to share some golden oldies with the fans.
First to tackle the cosy stage is alt-rock newbies The Faim, who have come out with Lower Than Atlantis to mark their first ever time tour. Appearing across your stereo’s out of nowhere, this Australian four-piece may have only released two songs to the public so far but are quickly making an impact on the scene. Their debut single ‘Saints of the Sinners’ proves to be as pounding live as it is on record and serves as a brilliant concluding track for their half-hour set. It would be wise to keep an eye on these guys as they are bound to be finding bigger and bolder stages in their future.
As more of the crowd packs in, it is time for Stroud four-piece Milk Teeth to motivate the room. Due to mental health reasons, singer and bassist Becky Bloomfield has taken some time out from the tour and Milk Teeth appear tonight as a trio. That doesn’t stop them from having a good time and showing everyone what they’ve got. They show off popular tracks like ‘Swear Jar’ and ‘Owning Your Okayness’ with such a presence that proves that they are a strong unit at all times.
Lower Than Atlantis finally take the stage and their entrance is electric. They steadily rattle through some popular tracks ‘Had Enough’, ‘Dumb’ and ‘Emily’ and build the pace over time as they begin to fall into their element. They stimulate the crowd into a whirlwind of pit circles even before ‘Work For It’ fully sets in; apparently a popular track with the Germans, this is the point where you can see the members of Lower Than Atlantis chill back and fully enjoy themselves in the moment. With eleven years of tracks under their belts they play homage to a little something from their debut ‘Far Q’; their rendition of the title track even features frontman Mike Duce getting up close and personal with the circle pits.
Halfway through the set and there is a drastic change of pace. Duce reappears with his acoustic guitar in hand and makes his way into the crowd, instructing everyone to shut up and crouch to the floor. What follows is one of the most magical moments in live music. Rarely brought into contemporary tour setlists, ‘Another Sad Song’ is a perfect track to hear entirely acoustic. Duce lights up the room with his one-man act in the middle of the room, backed up wonderfully by the audience vocals. There is a moment of still throughout the room before Duce rambles back up to the stage to bounce back into an upbeat track ‘Love Someone Else’.
The excitement doesn’t cease there, as the band clearly like to have a good time when they’re up on stage. There are always random intermissions of songs like ‘Hot in Herre’, with the audience singing along and spurring LTA on. The security staff show off their expertise when a succession of crowd surfers flow across the room during ‘I Would’. The night was truly one of happiness and just an excuse for a bunch of people with similar interest in good tunes to gather and have a great time.
They creep back onto stage for the encore of jumpy track ‘English Kids in America’ to then bring the night to a close with ‘Here We Go’. Duce can’t help himself and rides back into the crowd to stand above everyone for the multiple concluding crescendos. He rides over the crowd to an impulsive rendition of Electric Six’s ‘Gay Bar’ to then bring everything to a close in a whirlwind of sound; even making a sacrifice of a beloved guitar for extra impact. LTA make the most of every night they perform and any fan would leave completely amazed of what they just got to witness.