Leftover Crack – Camden Underworld


Having spent the past few weeks traipsing around the country performing a solo set, tonight sees Stza Crack reunited with his band-mates for a short tour ahead of Leftöver Crack’s Lock Up stage appearance at Reading and Leeds’ festivals. It looks like London has been waiting for this show as well.

Following on from June’s highly successful Oli Smith memorial fundraiser, ANTI-VIGILANTE (3.5/5) return to the Underworld. With a take-no-prisoners approach, the Milton Keynes outfit marches through a set that refutes its opening slot, delivering a pummelling brand of ska-core that’s one part ska to two parts hardcore. The band is best at its heaviest, a point that isn’t lost on the large crowd that have been drawn in. Punktastic has said it before and we’ll say it again; this is a band ready to step up a level.

CHEWING ON TINFOIL (2.5/5) may be much lauded by Stza Crack himself but the band’s performance tonight is a bit of a bipolar affair. For the first 15 to 20 minutes the set traipses along, with each song falling flat to the ears of everybody but a die-hard contingent at the front (the fact that there are some die-hards is quite an achievement being that the band hasn’t crossed over from Ireland too often). The final three songs give an idea of what the band has up its sleeves; energy, catchy hooks, and a little bit of grit. Whilst it’s not a performance to write home about, it’s not time for a write-off just yet.

Hands up if you thought THE FILAMENTS (3.5/5) would come out and play that 2005 set all over again. Yep, Punktastic did too. However, it turns out the returning Essex outfit has been in the studio recording a new album, which means tonight we’re treated to four or five brand new tracks as well as an assortment of the familiar. On first impressions, some of the Mohawk spit has gone from newer material in favour of a balls-to-the-wall rock stance, although that’s not to say there’s no punk. The Filaments are still very much a punk band, you only have to listen to the lyrics to realise that. One annoying stage-invader aside, tonight the band puts in a performance that doesn’t so much hark back to the ‘good old days’ so much as leave you intrigued for that future album.

Such are the reports that constantly surround the band and its individual members, it’s all too easy to forget that LEFTÖVER CRACK (4/5) can be a fun band, and can have fun whilst they perform. Tonight’s set is the type that brings this fact back to the forefront. Rather than punch-ups we see the band synchronise jumping. Rather than vicious profanity, we see Stza and co. laughing and joking with the hordes of stage invading and diving revellers. Hell, the frontman even makes a leaping Batman-esque entrance after almost missing his cue to haul ass to the stage. See; it’s fun.

The band thumps through a set that sees the likes of ‘Burn Them Prisons’, ‘Gang Control’, and ‘Rock The 40 Oz.’ turn the dancefloor into something closely resembling a warzone. The moments in which Stza forgets/mumbles/misses lyrics, the crowd gladly recites them, a chorus of off-key malcontents if you will. Surprised by the quickness in which they race through tunes (“I haven’t talked enough,” quips the frontman), the band takes requests for the final 20 minutes of the show. Well, they take some requests. Some songs are straight-up declined whilst others have been lost in the mires of memory. The befuddling approach proves quite comedic, not something you’re used to hearing from a Leftöver Crack gig. Maybe that’s why tonight feels a little special.