Amassing to a night of ear-popping, politically driven punk on 1 February, Strange Bones know how to work a room. Where some bands might quiver when faced with a small crowd, this Blackpool trio did not, but rather used the intimacy of the Garage Attic to start a small riot.
With supporting bands so powerful in confidence as Glasgow’s own punk quartet Rottenrows and East London-trio False Heads, the gig was kicked off in an eminence of raw passion not uncanny from the underground music scene. These guys want to be heard, yet seemed to fall victim to the standard fate of the support act – while the crowd were keen to listen, there was an unfortunate stillness, reflecting that they were only really there for one band, for they were electrified as soon as Strange Bones ran on stage.
The Garage Attic is the kind of venue meant for punk bands like Strange Bones. It is small, and it is loud – every hit of the drum can be felt through the floor, making the performance that bit more immersive. The crowd, compromised mostly of teens, with the odd grown man throwing himself into the pit, were hungry for this band – of course it would not be a gig in Glasgow without screams of “Here we fucking go”, but by mixing this with a mosh pit involving the majority of the crowd, the hunger was really something else, even more so when front man Bobby Bentham threw himself right into the centre of it multiple times during the brief set. However, this did seem quite impromptu, likely resulting from the young crowd’s inability to entertain his attempts of surfing over them.
The band delivered a set-list packed with heavy, feverish bangers, keeping the crowd passionately energised. ‘We The Rats’ and ‘Big Sister Is Watching’, stood out as key contenders for the best part of the night, but it was the catchy hook of the final song, and Bentham’s engaged stage (and crowd) presence that sealed the set exceptionally.
Closing the gig with ‘God Save The Teen’, Bentham, head to ceiling, stood on the side-stage speakers, the crowd at his feet almost begging for him to join them through their chants of “Na na na” – even those who didn’t seem like seasoned fans earlier soon joined in. The mood, already electrified, exploded as he jumped fearlessly into the crowd of no more than 30, their energy showing no signs of dissipation as even at the end of the set they remained frenetic, screaming for one more song, which to their disappointment, there was not.
It is no wonder that Strange Bones have been nominated for the UMA / Live Nation ‘Best Live Act’ award – there is something irresistible about the way these young men apply fury to groove, and this is best captured live.
Image: Raw Kingdom