LIVE: Fort Hope / Brawlers / Trash Boat / Boston Manor @ The Macbeth, London

By Nicole Tiernan

For the past week The Macbeth in Hoxton has played host to Community LDN, a festival which highlights the biggest acts in the UK right now. With twelve bands spread across three days, from Hacktivist to Killing Moon, it seems there’s a lot to sink your teeth into. The second night of the festival consisted of Boston Manor, Trash Boat, Brawlers and headlined by newly signed Fort Hope.

With fans queuing up as early as 11am, the atmosphere was already buzzing for opening act Boston Manor. Regrettably the room is still only half filled with fans still trickling in as they pelt through the first few tracks; though this relaxed response doesn’t stop the guys performing with much urgency. With a sound which matches the headliners perfectly, Wolf clearly resonates with a certain few in the crowd as an army of fist pumps and cheers murmur throughout. Though without a lack of trying tonight’s crowd are just not warming up fully to Boston Manor.

Trash Boat are a little more energetic which is welcomed quickly by the floor. With more camera flashes appearing around the stage, Trash Boat continuously try to get tonight’s crowd moving, and their work is paid off when Tobi Duncan’s aggressive yells for stage divers is finally heard.  With the four members just about fitting on the night’s small stage, Trash Boat deliver good energy and successfully win the crowd over with their pop-punk charm by the end of their set.

However, it’s not till Brawlers take the stage for the room to really wake up. Harry Johns’ addictive personality shines instantly. From the animated facial expressions of Anthony Wright, to hearing the tightest sound all night with track Annabel, Brawlers have definitely brought the party with them. With the overall vibe still wearing a little thin with the crowd tonight, Brawlers take a new approach to rectify this with a sea of high fives and hugs – but this too doesn’t wake the crowd up too much. It’s only when Johns’ plants himself in the middle of tonight’s floor does the party really take off, as phones and fans climb on everything and anyone to get a glimpse.

Though it’s clear from the crowd’s less enthusiastic taken to the bill so far that the show is all about headliners Fort Hope. The band, who recently signed to Virgin Records, kick things off with EP track Sick to a response of screams and instant singalongs: Finally the night’s crowd have found their voices. Jon Gaskin’s vocals are as immaculate as ever, as he effortlessly glides through each verse. To much surprise Fort Hope indulge in a new track off their upcoming untitled LP which offers fans a new sound to the trio. Though the untitled track may be far darker than what fans are accustomed to, it’s received well.

With this being the first show back since writing the new album, Fort Hope continue on with tracks Control, New Life and EP favourite Tears to a somewhat rushed pace. Regardless Jamie Nicholls’ percussions keep up tonight’s tempo with Crosses, bringing the band in full-sync with Gaskin’s Disney-like vocals. With it being a short and sweet set, Plans ends the night with wall shaking drops and ear-aching screams from the (now) packed room.

With all bands serving a strong set within the night’s festival, we can’t help feeling that the audience brought the atmosphere down a little, that with the rushed pace of the night’s headliners gave a little left to be desired. However with Community LDN being a relatively new festival, as well as being on a week night, maybe it’s just a few kinks which need to be seen to.