As the summer draws to a close and the nights are getting darker, where better is there to spend an evening than a sweaty basement watching live music. Describing the Rainbow basement as sweaty may be a little harsh as the air conditioning was blaring out like a frosty wind all evening leaving the room divided between hot down the front and cold at the back.
Shit Present are as close to a UK DIY scene super group as you’re going to find members and ex members of Gnarwolves, Great Cynics, the Computers and the Smith Street Band (and for this tour Bangers too) come together to make grunge inspired punk. From start to finish this set was the perfect introduction to the band played with passionate ferocity. Even as guitars float between angular and feedback soaked sludge vocals remain prominent and add an emotive pop edge. It is in the pop sensibilities that the song writing of Shit Present really comes together and creates an infectious live atmosphere, the combination of hooks, choruses and singalong sections with razor sharp performance and a stage full of presence catches the eye and ear almost instantly without letting go until the last note has been played.
Solids took the stage and had the room nodding along to their shoegaze inspired punk rock within the opening bars. As their set progressed the intensity built along with fuzzy walls of noise, distortion and distant vocals. Solids slowly build their soundscapes with a feedback and distortion before guitars and drum lines crash through creating mayhem and intensity which in turn creates a fascinating stage presence. With the addition of a third member the duo come trio increase in volume and intensity creating a live sound which is very different although no less accomplished than their recorded work. As their moniker suggests Solids are a solid live act!
As soon as Pup, Canada’s hottest musical export took the stage the room filled to capacity as the audience descended towards the stage. Fierce versions of tracks from the band’s debut and sophomore LP’s flew from the stage along with the realisation that for a relatively new act Pup have a set-list full of hits. The crowd provided backing/lead/guest vocals for the entire set and the band seemed genuinely humbled by the crowd response. Pup’s first run of headline shows in the UK may only be a few days in but they already play like a well-oiled headline act, their set list expertly balanced between old, new, slow and fast had the audience gripped from start to finish.
Pup really are one of the most exciting bands touring at the moment, this is probably the last time they will be playing such small venues in the UK with such incredible supports so VH strongly recommends you catch one of the shows on this run.