Max Raptor: Tower Brewery, Burton on Trent (Live Review)

Being unable to arrange a piss up in a Brewery is a long standing statement of ineptitude, well Max Raptor managed it again, and this time they brought out-of-towners along for the ride too. 2014 marked the first annual Max Raptor xmas gig with the band putting on a monumental showcase of local bands at Burton’s Tower Brewery. For 2015 (technically a month early) the band made the Tower Brewery the last stop on their tour supporting new EP ‘Damage Appreciation’ bringing with them label mate Elgies, rising stars Yearbook and underground superstars Brawlers.

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In the most respectful way, as they come to stage Elgies don’t scream hardcore band, in fact someone them look like they’d be much more at home rapping along with Mike Skinner, well looks can be deceiving. Opting to forgo the small stage one of the bands two vocalists decides to start the gig happily dancing along in front of the stage, even busting out a moonwalk at one point. The Steel City Sheffield is producing quality bands left, right and centre and Elgies are already becoming worthy of fitting within the rest of the Sheffield crew.

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Yearbook set the stage on fire… literally. Technically it was someone enjoying the IPA a little too much, but there was very much a small fire midway though Yearbook’s set. The shows Southern contingent brought a strong presence and an assured performance, holding their own against on paper some heavier bands.

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Having seen and come to love Brawlers over the course of 2015, it is hard to review them without seemingly blowing smoke up their arses. Brawlers have that something, it cannot be denied, they offer the catchiest old school punk sounds with lyrics that perfectly sum up life in 2015, it’s essentially as if the Ramones had grown up in the 2000s. Together the band look like they have so much fun on stage, and it instantly rubs off on the crowd.

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The home town boys Max Raptor could have had a smoother set, fighting through bar brawls and power cuts, but boy did they put on a show. The signing to Hassle Records seems to have brought out and inspired the best in Max Raptor, with new tracks ‘Blue on Red’, ‘Population’ and title track ‘Damage Appreciation’ always going down a storm. Venues such as the Tower Brewery were made for bands like Max Raptor, and Max Raptor were made for venues such as the Tower Brewery, the fit like a glove. My one worry, how do they top this next Winter?