After superb support slots for Sundara Karma and Mystery Jets, Blaenavon, the three lads from Hampshire burst into the limelight with their fantastic debut album, ‘That’s Your Lot’, which garnered a great reception from fans and critics alike. Having seen the boys in action this summer at Reading festival, I was expecting quite the performance from a band renowned for their presence, energy and confidence on stage.
Admittedly, I arrived late to the venue and missed out on what I heard was a great support set from The Night Café, a four piece from Liverpool. However, soon enough Blaenavon graced the stage to the roar of the enthusiastic crowd. Despite admitting in the prior interview that they were all under the weather (to put it lightly) with illness that night, they started with a bang with old favourite ‘Hell Is My Head’.
Moving into the set, you could really see what all the fuss about Blaenavon was about. Harris’ drumming on new song ‘Give Me All Your Vanity’ really emphasised and enhanced the band’s tightness and stage presence. By the way they commanded the stage, you could easily mistake them for veterans of the indie-rock scene, instead of the young twenty-somethings that they are.
Not long into the show, Blaenavon burst into ‘My Bark Is Your Bite’, an anthem in the making, again to the satisfaction of the surging crowd. However, soon after this, proceedings briefly turned sour as a fight broke out between two lads in the pit. It’s fair to say that such an incident could have put a downer on the evening, and I very much considered ducking out to get another drink, but the band handled the situation with the upmost professionalism and waited until the dust had settled before proceeding with their rip-roaring performance.
It’s almost as if the previous events motivated them to return with even more vigour than before, as within a few minutes they commenced with fan favourite ‘I Will Be The World’, to what surely created the biggest and most lively mosh pit of the evening. With the fans left in awe, the band said their goodbyes and strolled off, only to be roared back on for a few final songs. Yet in true Blaenavon fashion they gave it their all from beginning to end, and finished off their sold-out show with hits ‘Orthodox Man’ and ‘Prague’. It was hard to believe that the crowd could love the band any more than they already did, but when Ben took to the barrier and leapt out into the sea of eager fans, the atmosphere sky rocketed.
After a breath-taking performance of such passion and energy, one surely must ask what is stopping them on the road to becoming indie royalty. With an American tour on the horizon with ‘The Wombats’, and their debut album resonating with millions of listeners, you can only feel happy for these hardworking lads from Hampshire. There is nothing missing from this band; Blaenavon are surely on the path to greatness.