LIVE: Yearbook / Brawlers / Gunning for Tamar @ Birthdays, London [07/03/2014]

By Tamsyn Wilce

There aren’t many things better than heading to a gig on a Friday night, after a long week of work. But when you discover said gig is free and the line-up boasts some of the best up and coming indie-punk bands of the moment, it’s an absolute no brainer. Taking over Birthday’s in Dalston were Hampshire’s finest Yearbook, Alcopop Records’ new pupils Brawlers and a refreshed looking Gunning for Tamar.
Having taken some time out at the end of 2013 after losing a member, Gunning for Tamar are hitting the stage for the first time since December and we’re anxious to see how they’ve worked on their sound as a now three-piece. A thirty-minute sweat-fest follows, their distorted, erratic sound filling the room and it becomes aware that GFT have wiped away any previous issues and are starting a fresh here tonight. There’s still room for improvement and with a little adjusting here and there they will undoubtedly be back to rights very, very soon.

Next up, Brawlers. Having just released their debut EP ‘I Am a Worthless Piece of Shit’ the set is all about flaunting it off to the best of their abilities. Frontman Harry Johns spends approximately 5% of his time on the stage – the rest is spent running wild throughout the crowd. Beers go flying, bodies get shaken and he has no problem in getting up close and personal with those who seem somewhat disinterested. Expressing that he is, somewhat off his trolly drunk in order to get his head back to the place that wrote the songs from the EP, including ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Instagram Famous’ – it certainly leaves for a memorable performance. Brawlers live are the definition of what happens when you shake up a can of fizzy drink and open it, ridiculous amounts of energy and fun were had and with a sense of humour delivering jokes such as, “If you want to buy our new record, don’t fucking bother you can listen to it on Spotify for free” the evidence is clear as to why Brawlers are gaining huge amounts of respect and love from far and wide.

Joining Brawlers in celebration of their newly released record, Yearbook are last on stage to treat everyone to tracks off new EP ‘Old Bones’. Adorned in the most flamboyant of Hawaiian shirts, Yearbook go full throttle into their set. Their performance is like one big party, the room is crowded and the band are enjoying every minute of their time on stage. As it’s the record release show, the audience get to experience it played live in full, and if anything it certainly showed exactly why everyone should pick up a copy of the EP, even for new fans it was an enjoyable and impressive performance by anyone’s standards.