LIVE: The Story So Far, The American Scene and Gnarwolves – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach

By Chris Marshman

Ever since The Story So Far released their debut album ‘Under Soil and Dirt’ their stock has been steadily rising. So much so that they are quite clearly at the forefront of the pop punk revolution that has seemingly taken place over the last three or so years. They’ve even managed to survive the much maligned downfall of a lot of bands, that tricky second album. So it comes as absolutely no surprise that The Story So Far have managed to sell out Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach tonight.

As the sun was descending on a suitably glorious day in Cardiff, it was up to Brightons own Gnarwolves to kick things off and they actually do really bloody well. Opening things up with ‘History Is Bunk’ the crowd go absolutely nuts for them, the boys look genuinely surprised at the reaction and in return give it their absolute all for the rest of the performance. It’s seriously satisfying to see one of Britain’s best punk prospects go down so well, by the end of their performance, Gnarwolves were playing to a full room, and that should say it all about just how good they were.

Making their UK debut next was The American Scene who provide a much needed change of pace, considering what was to come from The Story So Far. Their set was a strange one, at points I went from utterly mesmerised to completely bored, however, highlights came in the form of ‘Used To You’ which goes down really well and for the core set of fans singing along down the front, I’m sure this was a great set, for me, it was OK, their live show needs a fair bit of work, but the potential is definitely there.

The relatively quick stage turnarounds meant that when The Story So Far came to the stage, half of the venue were outside have a cigarette or a drink. This doesn’t deter anyone though because as soon as they open things up ‘Roam’ everyone in the room lost their shit. The sing-alongs that went along with the show brought chills, every song goes down a storm. Tracks from ‘Under Soil and Dirt’ like ‘Daughters’ and ‘Mt Diablo’ see an array of crowdsurfers and finger pointing, at one point there seems to be a stereo crowdsurf from South Wales pop punk locals Save Your Breath and Gnarwolves. Truly a sight to behold. The songs from their recently released album ‘What You Don’t See’ go down equally as well, ‘Stifled’ sounds especially huge and there’s a live debut for ‘Things I Can’t Change’

There is a slight scare when during the outro to ‘High Regard’ one crowdsurfer lands awkwardly and manages to knock himself out, thankfully after a couple of minutes of genuine concern the crowdsurfer got up to big cheers from the crowd and the rest of the set dedicated to him. It was then left to crowd favourite ‘Quicksand’ to close the show, and yeah, if it was crazy in Clwb Ifor Bach before then you’d have to multiply it by ten to get the reaction that this song got, with the entire show ending in a mass stage invasion it’s clear to see that The Story So Far are up there with the likes of The Wonder Years as one of the most promising bands this scene has seen since the likes of New Found Glory emerged. Incredible.