As Trash Boat come to The Magnet, Getintothis‘ Luke Chandley revels in the loyalty of Liverpool’s hardcore fans at a gig where the crowd really earned their stripes.
Often malingered and much mocked, the pop-punk/hardcore fans of this country are nothing if not fiercely loyal.
Whilst arena tours are reserved for mammoth acts such as Blink 182 and Green Day, there’s still room for younger, smaller acts to take on more intimate surroundings. U.K bands in this scene seem to be in vogue right now and heading to The Magnet to see Trash Boat, we were wondering how far this current trend reaches and whether the influx of agencies adding Liverpool to their tours can continue to basement venues like tonight’s. Only the fans can tell us that.
Starting off the night was local band Sullen State. For what it’s worth, the room had solid numbers for the time of night and the band themselves had a group of dedicated fans who knew each word and moved, swayed and shook to each note. The band themselves were well chosen for the slot, bringing a raw pop-punk feel that can also be found in the headline acts work. Whilst they weren’t pulling up any trees, they weren’t bad.
Surrey outift Homebound ensured the stage was fully warmed up with their powerful set until they made way for Broadside, tonight’s main support over from the states for the first time. Starting their set with a jolt as Storyteller prepares the audience up nicely – a colourful track that gets a great reaction from the visibly excited crowd.
As they move through their 25-minute set, there’s a feeling that Broadside aren’t just any old flash in the pan. They’re a fun band, but sound neat and have a vocalist who can sing, who has a unique voice and a band behind him that work well together and create noteworthy tunes. This writer will certainly be checking their music out after this set. A good choice to draw in a few more fans.
Trash Boat finally rise from the midst of a long-ass changeover with their high-voltage hit Tring Quarry and instantly the kids at the show go wild, with a not-quite circle pit taking form in the centre of the room and crowd-surfing a-plenty.
There’s no shortage of stage activity here, be it from the band or from the fans who adorn the stage only to project themselves on top, into and all over the watching, frantic crowd. The sound of the show itself is solid, with singer Tobi Duncan not afraid to take on the sometimes scathing vocals at any point in the set.
Each member of the five-piece moves and buzzes about in their admittedly scarce stage space, a luxury the Magnet – tonight’s venue – doesn’t afford a numerically ambitious act like Trash Boat.
Lending themselves closer to punk than pop, Trash Boat show off their live skills by playing each eardrum-wrecking note, beat and word to the absolute fullest. There’s certainly something about this band that they can mix melody, brash vocals and a fast pace without ever sounding too chaotic live. They tick many of the hardcore scene boxes whilst still being exceptionally listenable – and watchable – on stage. It’s not merely a mess of noise. They’re careful, considered and most of all: a collective.
The venue is by no means full, and this is disappointing. But we’ve also covered shows here that have had double the attendance and half of the movement, half of the vigour and half of the heart that these fans show towards this band. It’s a comforting sight for a British band whose career has gone from supporting up-and-comers Roam a few years ago to headlining their own country-wide tour to adoring fans.
Trash Boat put on a good show. Whilst there’s no gimmicky jokes, guitar jumps or American accent, this just makes them feel more real. The crowd at tonight’s show loved them, and the mayhem of their supersonic not-quite punk sound translates well live. You can tell this from the love from the crowd. It’s all about the loyalty and dedication that kids at these small shows offer. Although this show wasn’t sold out, it was still enough to suggest that Trash Boat‘s popularity around the Mersey – and indeed country – should grow. Here’s to hoping they join us again.
Photographs by Getintothis’ Gary Coughlan