Slaves + Life + Shame // Cambridge Corn Exchange gig review 14.11.16

Whenever I see Slaves there is a unique atmosphere, the kind of vibe that would only surround one of the most important British bands over the past few years. In the space of an annum they have gone from playing a tiny pub, called the Portland Arms, in Cambridge to the biggest venue the city has to offer. Adding to everyone’s pure ecstasy to see the duo, we were treated by two up and coming English punk bands called ‘Life’ and ‘Shame’ who did more than warm up an emphatic crowd.

Kicking off with ‘Shame’, a band with the swagger of The Fat White Family, the outfit took me by surprise. I had never really checked out the 5 piece but I sure will be over the next few days as they soared through a visceral live set with the pressure of supporting Slaves evidently never phasing them. Over the last few weeks ‘Shame’ have debuted a couple of tracks in ‘Gold Hole’ and ‘The Lick’ and if they don’t make you want to go and see the South London band then I don’t know what will.

By the time ‘Life’ came on, the venue was already rammed with Punks, Skinheads and Indies; despite evidently making punk bangers Slaves have a versatile following and the main support lived up to this as well as any band would. Their performance was gritty and the snarling tone of Mez’s vocals enhanced the sweaty aroma of the audience.

This was the 7th time I had seen Slaves and, as cliché as it sounds, this was by far the best I had seen them. With new material from recent release ‘Take Control’ Isaac and Laurie had a setlist rich in absolute belters, they played their classics, like ‘Cheer Up London’ and ‘The Hunter’, but personally the tracks that sent me into madness were ‘Same Again’ and ‘People That You Meet’. You just can not fault the raw energy of the Kent based lads, they powered through a triumphant headline show, looking down upon a sea of moshers and dedicated crowd surfers that gave the security a hell of a night. Finishing with the lead single from their new LP, ‘Spit It Out’ topped off an amazing night and one that I will not be forgetting for a while. Go and check out the support acts latest releases and of course Slaves’ unbelievable new album ‘Take Control‘.


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