LIVE: cleopatrick @ Electric Ballroom, London

By Kat Ferris

I could not think of a worthier borough to host to cleopatrick’s triumphant return to the capital than London’s home of punk, Camden. The north London venue, Electric Ballroom, certainly lived up to its namesake, courtesy of the palpable buzz of electricity in the air from the offset.

Wading through the voltage thick air was first support. Brighton 3-piece PROJECTOR introduced the room to their abrasive alt-pop Sonic Youth tinged sound, full to the brim with irresistible melodies for a searing start to a white-hot night of alternative glory. Half of the dual vocals came refreshingly from Lucy Sheehan, providing some well-needed feminine respite from an evening that tended to skew toward the phallic, from both the crowd and artist. PROJECTOR were followed by cleopatrick’s support mainstays Ready The Prince, who delightfully wove unexpected groove elements into their heavy-rock flavour, suitably riling up the already zealous audience ahead of the main event.

As the headliners took to the stage, their self-proclaimed status as the “last rock band on planet earth”, could very much be believed to be true from the crowd’s sheer dynamic fervour throughout the entire show. The reckless abandon and unbridled energy brought by the all in attendance was truly an experience to behold, as the tearing distorted riff of ‘GOOD GRIEF’ tore through the venue and kicked off a set of a night of unified chaotic catharsis. In true punk style, they play hard and fast, bombarding the thrilled audience with short but immutably punchy tracks relentlessly paired with classically cleopatrick crooning angsty vocals.

A pure crowd-pleaser and personal highlight was delivered in a ‘sanjake’ shaped aural package, delivering biting tongue in cheek lyricism over hard rock instrumental. The track was “designed to incite vicious mosh pits and a sense of existential triumph”. Mission accomplished. The setlist relentlessly crashed on, delivering R&B infused heavy hitters until reaching a definitive fever pitch of the evening during ‘hometown’, lulling the crowd into a false sense of security with a lower tempo intro that explodes into “what’s the fun in getting drunk if you can’t take it too far!?” – a euphorically pointed sentiment posed to the beer-fuelled captive audience. At this point in the show, collective spontaneous combustion wouldn’t even come as a surprise, the sheer combination of killer guitar and distorted dynamic lyricism was a powder keg of the greatest order.

The setlist generously encompassed both longstanding fan favourites alongside offerings from the album of the tour namesake, ‘BUMMER’, and rounded out with an unexpected indie offering, a poetic cover of none other than Arctic Monkeys’ ‘ode to love, 505’. The track offered the perfect antithesis to round out the evening, the room wound the energy down unabashedly singing along to the indie karaoke classic as steam rose from the adrenaline-filled mob.

Continuing with their London residency with a fabled Jack Saunders Hopscotch show the next evening, this Canadian duo certainly made the absolute of their time in London and more importantly made it loud.