Alkaline Trio – Camden Underworld

By paul

Intimate shows. The coveted winner of any fanboy/girl oneupmanship contest, and a unique window into what a ‘big’ band was like 10 years ago. Alkaline Trio‘s new album lands on Hassle Records in the UK, and tonight is to promote that speculated ‘return to form’. The three minute sellout means there are many jealous people in the UK right now, and the expectations are huge, as it’s a bit of a trump card for any ‘what did you do last night’ conversations.

After a fairly long wait, the band plow through what turns out to be a mind shatteringly obvious set of hits and new material for an hour, and then promptly disappear off the stage. There’s nothing wrong with tonight’s performance and it’s a great place for Alkaline Trio to play, but the set just feels a little short, and you’d expect a few more surprises thrown in for a ‘special show’ if there’s going to be no support. That said, songs from the forthcoming record sound great, and there’s nothing wrong with singing along to Crawl like an overexcited 15 year old with a pint held in the air. It wasn’t quite what people were expecting, but it’s nostalgia, intimacy, drunken fun, and that’s not bad for a Monday night.

Tom Aylott