LIVE: Nothing / Chain of Flowers @ Moth Club, London

By Glen Bushell

May 13th 2016 will forever be known as the day that Nothing took over London. Coming over for one day to celebrate the release of their stunning second album, ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’, the Philadelphian rock band made the nations capital their own. After a listening party for the album, they made their way to Rough Trade East, performing some of the delicate, and often beautiful tracks from the album, as well as giving Domenic Palermo the chance to do his best Liam Gallagher impression on a cover of Oasis track, ‘Married With Children’.

After taking the time to interact with everyone who was there and showing genuine appreciation for those who get so much from the cathartic music Nothing create, they then head over to Moth Club in Hackney. At this show, they go on to do exactly what they do best: make one hell of a noise, and have a great time doing so.

Once we make it out of Rough Trade, we rush over to cram into the veritable sweatbox that is Moth Club, and make it just in time to catch Chain Of Flowers.

After releasing their long-awaited debut album last year, the welsh post punk band have gone from strength to strength. While the sound isn’t perfect at the start, front man Joshua Smith is the picture of a young Ian Curtis. He writhes around the stage through ‘Deaths Got A Hold On Me’, ‘Nail Me To Your Cross’, and caustic version of ‘Crisis’. While still an underground band, Chain Of Flowers are showing all the signs of becoming a much bigger prospect in the near future.

When Nothing come on stage, you know it is time to party. While their music is emotionally jarring and blissfully hypnotic, the endearing personalities of the band counteract that. As Palermo told us in a recent interview, they are real people, making real music without any sort of masquerade. They pass around bottles of whiskey, make jokes with the audience, and in between Palermo losing himself in classic Ian Brown fashion, they have huge smiles on their faces.

Of course, the main thing about Nothing’s performance is their music. The set leans largely towards ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’, playing some of the heavier, riff driven tracks from the album. ‘Vertigo Flowers’ sends the audience crazy as hurling bodies fly from the stage, with ‘A.C.D (Abscessive Compulsive Disorder)’ and ‘Eaten By Worms’ sounding even larger than on record – helped of course by the searing volume Nothing play at.

Nothing plough through most of the bigger material from their catalogue tonight, if anyone even thinks they are a shoegaze band, they are wrong. While the influence is still there in some of the more mesmerising sections tracks like ‘Get Well’, Nothing are very much a rock band. The Britpop worship of ‘Chloroform’ sits perfectly next to the grunge-laden ‘July The Forth’, and even an unplanned, chaotic rendition of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ sets Moth Club alight this evening. The few tracks played from their breakthrough album, ‘Guilty Of Everything’ still pack a punch, particularly ‘Bent Nail’, and the swooning haze of ‘B+E’, but Nothing are band all about moving forward, and you can hear it in the newer material.

It is a special night for Nothing, and one they should be very proud of. After the year of hell and bad luck the band has been through, they deserve to have things go their way. With ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ garnering universal acclaim across the board, and more people catching on to the wild ride that is Nothing, this year will belong to them.