hmv.com reviews... The Bronx @ Cardiff's Clwb Ifor Bach
Hardcore punks The Bronx tore up Cardiff last night (January 18th) and we were there to see it...
LA rockers The Bronx promoting their fifth self-titled LP.
In an intimate Clwb Ifor Bach, a perfect setting for the chaotic hardcore outfit.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The main room is so busy that the crowd are having to file out towards the bar out the back. You can genuinely feel the sweat on the walls from the amount of action that is going on.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The set is made up of two halves; one showcasing their new album 'V' in full and the other a mixture of greatest hits from their back catalogue. Things start with 'Night Drop At A Glue Factory' and one thing is clear from the off, is that this is not going to be a quiet gig. What’s evident as well is how tight every member of the band is, throughout the set, there isn’t a single loose note played.
'Stranger Danger' sees frontman Matt Caughthran taking action into his own hands and starting up a pit in the centre of the room and doesn’t see him moving from there until several songs later. Even a faulty PA doesn’t hamper them as they power through early sound problems during 'Fill The Tanks'. They jest that their sound had overpowered everything and they’re probably not far off!
Out of the new material 'Sore Throat' and 'Broken Arrow' get the biggest reactions from the crowd and we even get the first crowd surfer during 'Past Away'. However, you can sense that the active audience members are saving most of their energy for later on during the set.
'Kingsize' sees the end of the first part of the set and demonstrates what the band have evolved into the last couple of years. They still maintain a hard and heavy band when they need to be, but now have more maturity and range which is probably in no part due to their outrageously entertaining 'Mariachi' act they also perform under.
The five craziest people in the room are demanded to follow Caughthran to the back of the room in order to initiate the chaos that ensues during 'Heart Attack American' it’s almost not needed as the whole place comes alive, everyone in the room shouting along. Things don’t let up with hits like 'The Unholy Hand' and 'S****y Future' straight afterwards. 'White Guilt' gives everyone a bit of a breather, but it’s actually one of the highlights of the night seeing everybody singing along in unison as opposed to bodies flying off of the change.
Business resumes again though with 'Knifeman' from their accomplished third record which probably sees the biggest audience reaction of the night. Through it, all Caughthran is in the thick of everything conducting the carnage with aplomb whilst the band are intricately giving it their all on stage.
Things have to, unfortunately, end at some point and they do with 'History Stranglers' which sees everybody giving their last little bits of energy and appreciation for what has been a spectacular show.
Any good between song banter?
Amidst all of the action pits, we have moments involving lost wallets, where there is only one way to retrieve it from the stage. There’s also a moment where we witness what is, for this writer's money, easily the stage dive of the year so far...
Did they put on much of a show?
To say they put on a show would be somewhat of an understatement. Throughout their time of playing as a band, they have never been anything under than exceptional when playing live. With the pace and the intricacy of some of these songs, that is no mean feat!
What was the highlight of the set?
As soon as 'Heart Attack American' kicks in the whole floor erupts into a sea of flying bodies with Caughthran right in the centre of it all. You can sense that it’s the moment that the crowd have been building up to. Whilst there were a few active people during the album play-through, this is on a whole different level.
Where can I catch them next?
Their sold-out tour finishes in Kingston tonight however they tease the fact that they will back in a few months’ time. Judging by how quickly this tour sold out, they are going to be some hotly contested tickets if they do!