Live: The Bronx / Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes / Pounded By The Surf @ Brooklyn Bowl, London

By James Davenport

Sunday evenings can often be a bit of a hard evening for gigs as it’s the end of the week and a lot of people will have an early start the following morning. That being said, this is completely disregarded tonight as The Bronx make sure the final date of their European tour goes out with a bang by selling out the unique bowling alley / venue inside the O2.

To kick things off, Bronx guitarist Joby J Ford’s newest musical project Pounded By The Surf walk out on stage adorned in stetsons and cowboy shirts as though they’ve just walked off of the set of a Levis advert. Diving head first into a set of surf inspired rock n’ roll and country, Pounded By The Surf are creating beautiful and at times psychedelic soundscapes that leave some members of the crowd looking slightly confused or bewildered. It’s easy to spot who has done their homework on this band and who hasn’t. With nothing but a “thank ya” and a smile between songs the whole room finally warm to the first act and by the end of the set everyone inn the room has a smile on their face.

Having been a band for less than a year, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes have already earned themselves a title of ‘a band you don’t want to have to follow’ as their live shows have proved to be nothing short of breath taking. Within seconds the Rattlesnakes are tearing the venue apart and Frank Carter has complete control of the room with everyone hanging onto every word as he makes his way into the crowd to perform at eye level. It’s not long before circle pits start up like hurricanes and Frank cooly crowd surfs his way to the bar for a drink before inventing the ‘front flip and sip’. Despite all this, some people in the room are hanging back and steering clear of the small storm happening by the stage as it’s clear they’re here because of one band performing this evening.

The Bronx, walking out onto the stage with a swagger about them that makes them look as though this could be the first night of their two week tour as opposed to the last. Instantly, before the band has even finished the intro their opening song, the air is filled with drinks and bodies. The crowd have taken to leaping from anything taller than waist height and there’s not a single person standing still as this musical behemoth tear into their set with so much ferocity. The band don’t let up at all during their set apart from quick witty and charming anecdotes from frontman Matt Caughthran between songs although even then that doesn’t seem to deter people from continuous stage diving. Ripping through a solid set of old and newer songs there’s clearly no stopping this band, this is further supported by frontman Matt managing to crowd surf the entire length of the venue and back without his feet touching the floor once. Incredibly, guitarist Joby J Ford has manged to perform throughout this tour playing in three sometimes four bands over the two week run with a broken hand, bandaged up in such a way that he’s still able to hold a plectrum.

The Bronx clearly steal the show tonight without letting up once, even to the end of their set and this reflected by everyone in the room looking completely sweat soaked and speechless. Tonight’s show almost feels historic in a sense that it will be talked about for some time to come and what better way to end a tour than leaving a trail of utter and complete carnage behind them.