LIVE: Self Defense Family / Creative Adult / Cassels @ Moth Club, London

By Glen Bushell

Self Defense Family are interesting band. Their relentless, often overwhelming back catalogue of releases and countless line up variations have earned them a cult like status. With a sound that veers from punk to alternative rock, ran through a “revolution summer” post-hardcore filter, fronted by the ever-vocal Patrick Kindlon, they have become a unique entity. Tonight they return to London and once again are on fine form.

Opening up tonight on the glittery stage of Moth Club in Hackney are Oxfordshire duo, Cassels. While two-piece bands may be hot right now, few match the cathartic power of these two brothers. They seamlessly weld, distorted, bottom-end grit and up-tempo punk riffs, led by a distinctly British twang. With their excellent ‘You, Us And They’ under their belt, and a frantic live show to match, expect to see Cassels rise to greatness in the coming months.

Up next is the highly anticipated London debut from Bay area post-punk band, Creative Adult. Despite a few technical teething problems at the start, they push through the slow burn of ‘Connected’ and start to shine. Their set pulls heavily from their latest album, ‘Fear Of Life’, with vocalist Scott Phillips channelling everyone from Mark E. Smith to Ian Curtis with his monotonous drawl. It compliments the moody, hypnotic repetition of ‘Heal’ and ‘Moving Window’ perfectly.

It’s evident by the attentive audience that gets sucked into Creative Adult’s performance that they have the potential to become revered, and the creativity (no pun intended) in their song writing eclipses that of their peers. As the final, dissonant notes of ‘Charged’ ring out, it’s clear we have just witnessed the start of something very special.

Creative Adult could have headlined the show tonight, and a lesser a band would have trouble following such a stellar performance. As mentioned above, Self Defense Family are not just any band. Launching straight into ‘Cottaging’, they waste no time in proving what a mesmerising prospect they are. Their triple guitar onslaught of disjointed riffs, weave in and out of melody and dissonance, while Patrick Kindlon contorts around the stage with a look of determination in his eye.

While there are seven members of Self Defense Family on stage for the most part tonight, it is virtually impossible to take your eyes off Kindlon. While he is an intimidating, visceral presence when spitting bile during ‘Good Idea Machine’ and ‘Self Immolation Family’, he is one of the most likeable front men in between.

He informs the crowd that his way of loosening them up is to do impressions of cultural British icons. His take on Ringo Starr, while sounding nothing like him, is hilarious, and his impersonations of Russell Brand and The Queen are funnier than most stand up comedians. It adds some light to dark nature of ‘Tithe Pig’ and the stunning closing track, ‘Brittany Murphy in 8 Mile’.

Shows like tonight, where all three bands provide very different and very unique performances, are a rarity. It will be a diving board for Cassels, a turning point for Creative Adult, and will solidify the status of Self Defense Family.