LIVE: Trash Boat / Broadside / Homebound / These Five Years @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

By Chris Marshman

South Wales’ own These Five Years kick off proceedings; a band that have seen themselves popping up on shows regularly in and around the South Wales area. Due to being added on to the show relatively late in the day, and the earlier door time maybe not reaching the ears of all ticket holders, the band play to a sparsely filled room at best. They kick on though to give an energetic performance. It does come across a bit like ‘pop punk 101’ at times, but having only been together for a year the band is still young. Each member still has plenty to learn, and the fact that various members of the band can be seen around the venue having a great time to tonights headliner shows how much this opening slot meant to them. If they can use these types of opportunities to learn and define their own sound there’s nothing to say that These Five Years can’t go on to do bigger things.

One band they can learn from is the first of tonight’s tour package; Homebound. A band who have been building momentum since releasing their EP ‘The Mould You Build Yourself Around’ via Rude Records earlier this year, this tour comes at an ideal time for them, allowing them to build on what they’ve started and start to get their name out as part of a higher profile package. The band do well to fill the stage, and despite the room still being less than half full, they give it their all. It would be good to see what this band could do in a smaller room with a more energetic crowd, but what they provide is pleasing enough. This tour will do its job and get their name out in preparation for a headline run of their own.

The main support tonight comes from Broadside, who definitely lean more towards the poppier side of pop punk. Whether it’s intentional or not, they build anticipation well by spending a good fifteen minutes on stage before actually beginning their set. The set is only five songs long, which is forgivable if the already mentioned standing around was due to technical issues, but not so much if not. Broadside manage enough time to show the now almost full room what they’re all about, providing 20 minutes of poppy, melodic tunes held together with a synth backing track,the songs resonating well with those at the foot of the stage. Front man Ollie Baxxter has an incredible voice that helps elevate the band from fun to impressive. Broadside have a pretty big future ahead of them, that much is clear to see.

Tonight, though, belongs to Trash Boat. The band come on stage to a full room before launching into ‘Tring Quarry’. Midway through the set, front manTobi Duncan explains that the band had reservations about coming to Wales at all on this tour, in part due to a paltry attendance at their last South Wales show. Tonights’ packed out room is a testament to how much the reach of the band has grown in the last year, thanks to 2016 s album of the year contender ‘Nothing I Write To You Can Change What You’ve Been Through’, which tonight’s set borrows heavily from. Trash Boat are the real deal; from the opening power chords of ‘Tring Quarry’ to the emotive ‘The Guise of a Mother’, to the wonderful set ending ‘Strangers’, the band don’t miss a beat. Rostocks vocals are strong, switching between aggressive and clean without any effort. The crowd is told that this is the last set of shows in this tour cycle before writing begins for their sophomore effort. The band admit they could become the sort of band that release two albums and forget their EP tracks, but this should hardly be cause for concern. Trash Boat are a shining light in an over saturated scene, and if the second album does for them what their debut did then you can expect to see them bothering bigger venues than this very soon.