LIVE: Good Charlotte / Against The Current / Milk Teeth / Nothing, Nowhere @ Brixton Academy

By Rhian Wilkinson

Opener nothing, nowhere are playing their first UK shows on this run, and the awkwardly early set time doesn’t do them any favours. Playing from 5.30, they are exceptional, but sadly there is only about a quarter of Brixton there to enjoy it.

The only possible criticism for the anonymous producer/vocalist behind the project is that as a frontman he does seem to lack energy on stage. Though it probably just wouldn’t feel right if he performed his unique take on emo any differently.

As the only UK band on this tour, and frankly the heaviest, Milk Teeth are a force to be reckoned with. For four small humans, they sure as hell make a hell of a racket on a stage this size.

Despite being plagued by technical difficulties, they power on like pros. Tracks off their double offering of 2017 EPs, ‘Be Nice’ and ‘Go Away’ sound huge. ‘Lillian’ off last month’s ‘Go Away’ release in particular is fantastic live. But the real standout moment in the set is ‘Swear Jar’. As the second support band, capturing the crowd like they did with this track is quite a feat. Phones are lit up and waved along to the aching tones of Chris and Billy’s wailing guitars.

While Against The Current as main support are a straightforward proposition for Good Charlotte, the package they present lacks impact. It’s overly choreographed and an uncomfortable mimicry of something that feels like it’s trying to be Paramore.

You can’t manufacture authentic alternative music in the same way that is possible with pop music. Whilst a portion of the crowd seems okay with what is happening on the stage, the majority of fans are in the venue because they love the early years of emo and pop punk. Good Charlotte deserve better than what’s being given. Putting on eyeliner and some camo trousers doesn’t give you the credibility to call yourself a rockstar.

However, all of this matters little when it comes time for Good Charlotte to take the stage. Almost 15 years on from their 2003 show at Brixton (the poster is still in the VIP bar), Good Charlotte aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. After a video recounting footage of their last Brixton show, and a timed countdown that saw a full house chorus to Linkin Park’s ‘In The End’, Good Charlotte arrived to prove nothing has changed in a decade and a half.

Opening with ‘The Anthem’ and peppering the set with other classic hits meant the crowd of die hard fans got exactly what they came for. Nostalgia laced hit after hit after hit. Only three songs of the 20-strong set were taken from their latest record.

Anyone who tries to say they didn’t jump up and down and scream “girls don’t like boys, girls like cars and money” at the top of their lungs on Sunday night is a liar, because every person in that venue damn well did.

Sam Carter of Architects joined Good Charlotte on stage for a huge rendition of ‘The River’, later tweeting “if you want it enough you can make it happen”.

Closing off the set with ‘Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous’, Good Charlotte gave us exactly what we came for. A set full of bangers that are undeniably some of the best party tracks of the 2000s.

They might not look quite as youthful as they did in 2003, but Good Charlotte have been honing their craft, and if Sunday night was any indication, we can look forward to more great sets from them in the future.