Rat Boy @ Rock City

Rat Boy has managed to strike the perfect balance between indie rock and hip-hop creating a sound like no other before him, connecting with and forming a large audience of teens/twenty somethings. He hit up Rock City last Thursday for the ‘Dumb and Confused’ tour.

Upon arriving at Rock City, there was already a queue of fashionably dressed youngsters readily anticipating for the doors to open – like Rat Boy himself, his audience certainly have the edgy look down. Swarming to the main stage, it did not take long for the crowd to fill out and before too long the first support of the night took to the stage.

First up was Touts, a three-piece teen punk band. Playing a set of appropriately angsty, guitar heavy punk songs. With plenty of energy to go around, this was certainly the way to get the crowd ready and rearing to go. Touts defiantly rocked that classic punk rock sound – think early Green Day, some classic Sex Pistols, mixed with a heavy dose of the Undertones. ‘Can’t Blame Me’ was a personal highlight; striking the balance between a raw, garage band sound and some really melodic vocal and guitar tunes.

Next up was grandson, a classic dirty rock voice, mixed up with hip-hop beats. grandson’s music was not the only thing to get the crowd going, as their overall showmanship and performance was incredible. They really put on a show for everyone. I found grandson reminiscent of Royal Blood, with a husky bluesy voice, heavy guitar riffs – but interestingly with a synth mix in there. The crowd were insane, just as energetic as those onstage – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but moshing to this extreme, to the support act, was certainly a pleasant surprise. Definitely credit where credit’s due to grandson.

Now that everyone was sufficiently sweaty and riled up, it was only a short wait for Rat Boy to take to the stage. It’s important to make clear that Rat Boy is not merely Jordan Cardy (frontman), the band trio are also equally important – and up on stage, it was without doubt a group effort, with the band bouncing off each other. It goes without saying that songs such as, ‘Turn Round M8’, ‘Move’ and ‘Get Over It’ were huge crowd pleasers. But in saying that, there was not a song that didn’t go down like a house on fire. The latest single ‘Chip on my Shoulder’, from the upcoming album ‘Internationally Unknown’ was a personal favourite. The track seemed to have a rocky tone, with punky influences and heavy guitar use, which I really rated.

To put it simply, there was not a moment to breathe or take a breath – the entire gig was a whirlwind of dancing, singing (let’s be honest more like screaming) along, with plenty of moshing to go around. It’s clearly evident that Rat Boy has gathered a loyal fanbase, connecting with the younger audience though his politically charged, relatable lyrics and catchy beats.

Now just to wait for January 25th, for the upcoming album ‘Internationally Unknown’ to be released.

Photo credit: Shaun Wootton

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