Random Hand – Camden Underworld

By Tom Aylott

Having released ‘Seething Is Believing’ in March, Random Hand have spent the past few months promoting the album in supporting roles. Whilst tours with the likes of The King Blues and Fishbone are all well and good, it’s less-restrained headlining shows that the band really makes an impact. It’s nice then to see the band top a beefy bill at the sweatbox that is the Underworld.

TYRANNOSAURUS ALAN [3/5] has had it a bit tough on their recent tour. Instruments have broken, a van has broken (repeatedly), and their frontman has been absent. It’s surprising then to see the band (sans singer) captivate the late-afternoon Underworld audience with a set that’s anchored in the heavier realms of ska-core. As with the best bands in the genre, T-Alan are adept at mixing up their sound, throwing grime-esque vocals into a fierce onslaught. There’s work to be done but considering the conditions, this is a stellar performance.

Playing a second Underworld show in three days, you have to ask yourself if it would have been worthwhile BROKEN NOSE [3.5/5] camping-out at the Camden venue. Who knows, maybe they did. As with Thursday evening, the Bridgend outfit impresses with another dose of genus-busting noisy menace.

At this moment in time Punktastic would happily watch DIRTY REVOLUTION [4.5/5] play a set of entirely new material, such has been the impact of the few new songs that have surfaced over the past few months. Tonight the band is in fine form (perhaps the Cardiff crew’s best outing yet) delivering a fine consortium of reggae-rich tones, soulful frolicking, and upbeat joyfulness. The latest songs stand-out but it’s the crowd-pleasers that predictably set a hot crowd off, and crown a fine summer set.

Boston’s HAVE NOTS [4/5] arrive on these shores on the back of excellent album ‘Proud’. The band’s brand of street-ska-punk sits perfectly on the bill between the lenient Dirty Revolution and the boisterous Random Hand. Live the band is hi-octane blasting through the likes of ‘Proud’ and the awesome ‘Louisville Slugger’ at breakneck speed. It’s gritty, rough-around-the-edges, and very, very good.

For whatever reason RANDOM HAND [4/5] always seems to up their game at the Underworld. Perhaps it’s comfortableness with the room; perhaps it’s the frantic crowd that acts a catalyst. Regardless, the Yorkshire quartet can bang-out a tune or two in the subterranean den. Tonight is no different. Throwing a smattering of allsorts up against the wall, Random Hand watches as everything seems to stick. Songs from this year’s release are delivered with a bravado that screams pride, whilst the Camden faithful laps it all up. The band’s energy is as intense as ever, and older material still serves as a recommendation of the band instead of road-worn filler. Essentially what we’re given is a vintage Random Hand set, solid, passionate, and exciting. It’s hard to argue against that.