LIVE: Me Vs Hero, Roam, Thrash Boat @ Islington Academy, London

By Joshua Wroath

UK pop-punk can hardly argue to have as large an audience in comparison to their North American counter-parts, internationally or even domestically. But on evidence of tonight’s performances it’s hard to see why the bands from this side of the Atlantic struggle to build a following, home and away.

With bands hailing from all over the UK in tonight’s capital, it’s a shame to not see the Islington Academy bursting to the seams, but there is easily enough people here to feed all the bands energies. The room is just right to set the stage for tonights showcase of UK pop-punk.

Thrash Boat are easily the youngest of tonight’s bands and although lacking in age, they make up for in confidence. With a solid crew of boys at the front bursting to sing along to the band, the St. Albans five piece are received more than well and show just why people love easycore/pop-punk – fast, jumpy, fun with plenty of chugs on top. Thrash Boat all too easily know how to make solid easycore belters, and are sure to move forward in the UK pop punk scene. Watch out.

Up next is Roam, bringing their own version of pop-punk from Eastbourne. Opening with ‘Foresight’ the band do not receive the crowd as warmly as Thrash Boat, and are alas hit with multiple sound/technical difficulties continuously throughout their set. Vocalist Alex Costello does his best to get the crowd going, but unfortunately they just can’t pull away from the problems presented. Ending on ‘Head Wash’, their main single, the band finish off gracefully enough, but ultimately it is not there night.

By the time headliners Me Vs Hero come onstage you can see an older looking crowd emerging. It’s clear to see by the bands appearance that they are a good few years older than their supporting travelers, which shows in their song delivery and output. Holding the best voice of the night, Sam Thompson sings with a sense of knowing his strengths and taking on his weaknesses: there are no signs of discomfort in the delivery of any of his screams, with a strong melody shown throughout. The band, show piecing their second album ‘I’m Completely Fine’, are tight and perform in an effortless manner. This is a band who have since there 2010 debut ‘Days That Shape Our Lives’ have grown to become a more complete package, with a horned sound. New songs such as ‘Opposties’ and ‘Things We Know’ are welcomed by the crowd and show the band can still make powerful easycore songs aswell as more rocker music. But it is old favourites ‘Days That Shape Our Lives’ and closer ‘Can You Count, Suckers?’ that turns the non-stop circling mosh upside down, with everyone from the back to front singing along.

Me vs Hero and all their fellow pop-punkers pull off a successful and certainly enjoyable evening for all attending, and prove that UK pop-punk does have a voice and exciting performers. Bu the question remains, when will these bands start to push on and get more attention internationally?