The best way to avoid the impending Sunday dread is to stay busy right into the evening, there is no better way to be busy than watching a gig. Place that gig in the Exchange, Bristol’s public owned music venue and you have the recipe for a wonderful evening. This is the kind of pressure that can tip the evening in the direction of a miserable Monday morning or the direction of one of those smug Mondays where you feel like you have hacked the system and maximised your weekend.
The infectious Toodles and the Hectic Pity offer a well-considered support slot, in fact this may be the perfect warm up to Chewing on Tinfoil. With a set that radiates confidence and creates a warmth within the room this local three-piece show headline quality stage craft and musicianship. Their sound which takes the gentler side of punk without losing the importance of what they are trying to say is clever and well balanced, combining this with power-pop hooks is a masterstroke. These are songs filled with opinion but never at the expense of a good tune, from the start to the finish there is an atmosphere which is lifted by every singalong from the crowd. As the last notes reverberate through the room applause signals the readiness of the audience to be passed over to the headline act.
With Dublin’s Chewing on Tinfoil the audience could not be in safer hands, these will be the hands they are eating out of for the rest of the evening. From the opening notes it is clear that this is going to be a memorable show, the band are clearly having a good time and as this energy radiates from the stage and the floor time stands still. As hit follows hit it is immediately apparent that this is a band who have an exceptional back-catalogue, slow songs that bring tears to your eyes, fast songs for dancing and choruses to unite a room.
Live music is not all about the songs there is enormous importance placed on stage craft, this is where Chewy really come in to their own. Their musicianship is strong enough to add improvised solo’s and passages without ever skipping a beat, the vocal harmonies are tight and their stage presence is equally eye catching throughout. This is a performance where the band on stage dictate exactly how the evening plays out, the audience feel exactly what the band want them to feel and the audience respond in full voice.
There is something almost magical about a small room full of people singing with the band, there is a sense of unity and an infectious sense of fun. Tonight this is exactly what happened, apart from two brand new songs the audience are for one night only part of Chewing on Tinfoil and it sounds wonderful. A bit like scream singing and often out of tune but the volume and the feeling created by such a racket is beautiful.
With a set list so perfectly compiled there is a real sense of disappointment as the band play their last note, thank goodness for encore’s the little desert at the end of an incredible set. In form like today’s it’s hard to believe Chewing on Tinfoil are playing in an intimate venue, the audience are certainly grateful to be there.