LIVE: Boston Manor @ Electric Ballroom, Camden

By Yasmin Brown

Boston Manor have caused quite a stir following the release of their new album ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’; an album that has seen the Blackpool five-piece take many risks, not just sonically but also in the way that all lyrics around a fabricated concept that questions the mentality of their own generation.

While this kind of message could have been ostracising for the band, these risks have since paid off, and they are now able to enjoy the ever-growing success that was born out of total authenticity. This authenticity translated seamlessly to Boston Manor’s largest headline tour to date, with fans new and old throwing themselves into the music, resulting in what was always destined to be a show that saw legs flailing around looking for a hand to hold them up, and security’s pleas for ‘no crowd surfers’ falling on selectively deaf ears.

From the second song, the provocative ‘Flowers in Your Dustbin’, the entire front half of the thousand-capacity venue had turned into a circle pit, as front man Henry Cox quickly warmed up what had started as a lukewarm crowd.

“Let’s get fucking sweaty. Bang your fucking heads”.

Unwilling to ignore these almost aggressive requests, every individual in the room stepped it up, becoming as much a part of the show as the five men on stage. Crowd surfers were relentless, with the same ten or so fans continually launching themselves on top of the crowd, wasting no time to throw themselves back into the pit once they’d achieved their goal of reaching the front to do it all over again.

As for the band themselves, there was a determined energy coming from each member, launching themselves around the stage as if they had something to prove, and after criticising the apathy of millennials, perhaps they feel that they do. That said, from where we were standing, crushed, out of control, and dripping with a worrying array of different fluids, any need to prove themselves disappeared with the release of ‘WTTN’.

Introducing ‘Tunnel Vision’ as a “love song to my generation”, Cox implores us to “read some books. Take some interest in something. Meet new people”, and suddenly what may have initially come across as an attack started to feel like genuine concern for where we might end up. The fact that the band’s message is so fiercely stressed during the live show, again, highlights Boston Manor’s authenticity, only making the band more relatable and their music more enjoyable.

As Cox elevated himself on top of the audience throughout the entirety of ‘Bad Machine’, he further crushed any barriers that might have made this show feel like an ‘us and them’ kind of performance, forming a connection that persisted for the rest of the set.

From the reaction that was caused by the handful of older songs that graced the set list, and Cox noting that he recognised certain audience members from shows two, three and even five years ago when they played their first live show right there in Camden, it’s evident that this band has garnered quite a loyal following already. They put on one hell of a live show that thankfully matches the high standard of their recorded music, putting them in good stead for the future of their career.