Slaves - Cardiff University
In the year that has already seen Slaves listed on the BBC Sound of 2015, release their second album Are You Satisfied?, and most recently be announced as a nominee for the Mercury Prize; it's fair to say the Kent two-piece have already achieved more than their fair share this year and there’s no sign of slowing them down on their journey to bringing punk back to British music.
Last time Slaves performed in Cardiff was three years ago at The Full Moon Club and a lot has changed since playing in that half empty room. The heavily tattooed pair have only gone and signed to a major record label, while developing this reputation for their chaotic live shows.
Kicking off the show are Spring Kings and the hilariously fun punk rock band Wonk Unit. Both successfully managing to stir a rebel rousing performance from the crowd; however it was easy to tell that tonight’s audience were saving themselves the headliners.
As the lights go down and the unexpected Vengaboys classic ‘We Like to Party’ is blasted through the speakers, energy is pulsating through Cardiff University as Slaves waste no time before launching into ‘White Knuckle Ride’ and ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie’.
Playing a set packed with old favourites and songs off Are You Satisfied?, the duo’s songs get brought to life in this atmosphere, songs such as 'Wow!!! 7am’ sound massive live, standing out between their normal punky songs. Credit is due to main vocalist and drummer Isaac Holmen who puts as much energy in at the end of his set as he did at the start while not faltering once with the vocals.
What is striking about Slaves is the duo are a bundle of fun on stage, there’s nothing serious about tonight’s show and it’s easy to tell that everyone is enjoying themselves. There’s a beauty to a band with a presence like this; too many young bands are very serious and forget the reason why they started to play live in the first place. In the case of Vincent and Holman, there are certainly no issues, they have mastered their craft and are a having a ball while performing.
Throughout the night it seemed Slaves have become victims of their own success; all night there were calls from the crowd to play festival favourite ‘Feed the Mantaray’ which was left from the band's setlist. Holman eventually accepts and causes absolute carnage amongst the crowd as a fake mantaray storm the stage and through the venue.
Closing their 13 song set list with radio favourite and the crowd erupting ‘Hey’, as both Laurie and Vincent crowd surf their way around Cardiff University, ending the show on an absolute high.