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THE INTERRUPTERS: Live in Sheffield

THE INTERRUPTERS – 09.02.17: Live at O2 Academy, Sheffield

interrupters

The Interrupters

On a freezing cold night I ventured even further north from my home in anticipation to see The Interrupters headlining the first of three UK gigs. On the heels of supporting Green Day at “huge arenas, the likes of we may never play again” (commented lead guitarist Kevin Bivona during the show) the band were due to play Sheffield, Liverpool and London before returning home to sunnier climes of Los Angeles.

As I entered the compact but perfectly sized venue of the O2 Academy, Sheffield I was greeted by Brighton band The Barstool Preachers taking to the stage. Their street punk style certainly got the crowd engaged from the first note which was no mean feat given that they came on stage at 7.30 and most people were still after their first beer of the night. The band had an edge and offered something completely different from the three chord thrash we hear so often from support acts (not that there’s much wrong with that either!).

The Barstool Preachers are touring the UK and Europe across April and May and I would strongly recommend trying to catch a show. They put a lot of energy into their performance and as I said, the crowd grew more and more into it as each song was played culminating in a singalong participation which obviously got everybody up for what was to come – the ideal support band who anybody could wish for.

After a short interval (I only just had time to get my second beer in) we saw North East band Gimp Fist strike up. The three piece punk band had bought their own small army of fans who immediately sent the mosh pit into mayhem. A mixture of Oi! and good old fashioned punk saw the band belt out an excellent set with more singalong choruses than you could shake a stick at.

Having checked out their Facebook page I notice a glowing tribute to Micky Fitz, lead singer with The Business who sadly passed away last year. It couldn’t be more relevant to Gimp Fist who certainly recreated that kind of passion and the working class anthems associated with Micky and the Oi! scene in general. ‘Skinhead not Bonehead’ was a cracking song and again, I urge you to try to see this band live.

interrupters

The Interrupters

The support now over it was the turn of The Interrupters but as guitarist Kevin said later on during their set, “The Barstool Preachers and Gimp Fist would have been a fine bill on their own”. However, these were the reason I had frozen my bits off to travel north and bloody hell, I didn’t leave disappointed.

The three Bivona brothers entered the stage, struck the first notes and lead singer Aimee Interrupter joined them to kick straight into ‘A Friend Like Me’. Absolute bedlam followed and people were getting thrown onto the stage before the first chorus was sung in earnest. I looked around and it seemed everybody in the place was caught up into the catchy ska punk rhythms that The Interrupters deliver.

The band were putting on a show and the audience were lapping it up. ‘By My Side’ and then ‘White Noise’ had the place in meltdown. Credit to the security staff who were catching bodies and re releasing them into the wild throughout the whole ninety minute performance. This was relentless but the one thing that struck me was how the band seemed to be enjoying it just as much as the crowd. A couple of mentions of Trump, a few audience participation requests and the three band members able to use up every inch of the stage just added to this quite unique experience (obviously drummer Jesse couldn’t run around too but he did put in one hell of a shift!).

The two albums made up the majority of the set along with a couple of “never been played in the UK before” tracks such as ‘Treat the Youth’. A couple of request slots saw them play ‘Last Call’ and ‘The Valley’ (I would have been gutted had they not played that anyway) before ‘Divide Us’ again seemed to crank up the pace yet another notch.

The ninety minutes flew by and instead of an encore they just played their set straight through culminating with ‘Soundsystem’ and ‘Family’.

If you’ve never seen The Interrupters live then I beg for you to try to whenever you get the chance. Hopefully they will be back to the UK soon after this short headlining tour and hopefully playing venues such as this. The huge stadiums may well accommodate the big crowds but I for one feel the more intimate the place then the better the atmosphere and this gig captured it perfectly.

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