Blaenavon @ The Wardrobe, 21/11

It is always nice to see a queue snaking out of a venue, especially when it’s for a band once deemed small and relatively unknown. However, Blaenavon’s ‘2017 success’ is unsurprising after the release of their debut album, a sold-out headline tour and supporting the likes of Alt-J and Sundara Karma.

Despite having seen the band perform several times before, I was still excited to witness their ability to engage the crowd with their music and enjoy a smaller, more intimate show before they, undoubtedly, gain as much recognition as other bands in the indie music scene.

Packed with an overwhelmingly teenage audience, the atmosphere was loud and excitable from the beginning of the first, more grungy but melodic, support: Plaza. The second support, The Night Café, were more well-known to the audience, resulting in mosh-pits and sing-alongs from the first song.

Image: Kit Lawrenson

Blaenavon’s set kicked off with the fast-paced ‘Hell is My Head’, with smooth transitions to each song, keeping the crowd lively. After receiving extremely positive reactions from the crowd for ‘Monte Carlo Kid’, from their recent EP, it was undoubtedly clear to the audience that the band enjoy playing their music as much as the audience enjoys listening to it. “We love all your songs!” is the response from someone in the crowd as Ben (vocals) asks if the audience liked their new song, ‘All Your Vanity’, after a live debut. They make their relatively slow and relaxed music, with powerful lyrics, into something that everyone can dance, jump and sing along to.

As the set closes with ‘Prague ’99’, only the barriers prevent the crowd from climbing on to the stage, but they don’t stop Ben and many others from crowd surfing; leaving us exhausted but satisfied with, yet another, memorable performance.

Emily Wharton

All Images by Kit Lawrenson (@kit.lawrenson)