If you’re looking for heartfelt melodies and touching singing, you’re at the right place. Major are the refreshingly sincere band you are looking for right now. We honestly didn’t know what to expect when we walked in the venue as they were beginning their set, in support of Can’t Swim and Boston Manor, in Dendermonde, Belgium. Reminiscent of the likes of Turnover and Grandview, Major performed in a way that was uplifting, allowing our spirits to unwind after a few minutes. At this point the atmosphere is still shy within the audience, but everyone seems to be enjoying what they are watching and Major are thankful for this. For all of you who still don’t know the band, do yourself a favor and go listen to Major’s EP, ‘To The Wall.’
It’s not so straightforward to imagine that Can’t Swim are only just beginning in this world. They’ve only put out a debut EP earlier this year (through Pure Noise Records, so there’s that) and tare already touring in Europe and the UK (supporting Boston Manor then playing headline shows)
Can’t Swim are the kind of band that immediately catches your attention and puts a huge smile on your face until you find yourself nodding to the music, sometimes even trying to keep your body from dancing (because we’re like 30 people in the room, you know.) There’s also that punk vibe in the music that arises from the loaded guitars, topped by singer Chris Loporto’s increasingly intense and desperate voice. It’s perfectly well-balanced and mostly catchy, especially when the quartet plays songs such as Right Choice and Death Deserves A Name (don’t you dare saying this song doesn’t make you whisper “no, no, no”.)
The americans know when to temper things, however and alternate with less angsty tracks, and more delicate sounds; Can’t Swim’s music feels accessible. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the lyrics are simple and relatable, or at least this is how it looks like for a few people in the audience, who quietly sing along to them.
Can’t Swim might have started their set tonight as nearly complete newcomers, but one thing for sure, they have definitely conquered the room in Dendermonde. Be sure you’ll be hearing from them in the near future!
Now what do you do when your voice is broken and you’re about to start a headline tour? Cancelling certainly isn’t an option for Henry Cox and his bandmates in Boston Manor. Freshly back from an extensive US tour, the boys found themselves embarking on a European adventure straight away, in support of their excellent debut album ‘Be Nothing’. It is a record that immediately set the band as a force to be reckoned with in the pop-punk spectrum (though we don’t like labeling – you can’t label Boston Manor’s music anyway.) Capturing enough interest to be featured and premiered on The Independent, ‘Be Nothing’ is an ambitious record in which Boston Manor express themselves through a wide range of unexpected and elegant sounds, therefore showcasing their talent and their true musicianship.
This debut headliner was kicking off in Belgium and there was simply no way for Boston Manor to not play. Dan Cuniff (bass) and Ash Wilson (guitar) took over the singing duties instead, while Cox warmed up the crowd, asking them not to hesitate joining. And boy, they did not!
Boston Manor played a decent amount of tracks from ‘Be Nothing’, obviously, whose live rendition we were discovering for the first time. And whether it was during the beautifully dramatic Laika, Burn You Up, or single Lead Feet, everything was a delight to watch, hear and sing. The gig reached a momentum when Broken Glass started; an intense song, which the singer once refered to as exciting because it’s one of the songs that are “(..) exactly what [he] had hoped [he]’d be able to write.”
While everyone in the audience kept busy trying to shout in the microphone, jumping on each other, living by every single word they were singing, the band, on the other hand, seemed to be having a lot of fun and even (pleasantly) surprised. Maybe they were not expecting such a welcome, maybe they were just happy to share a moment with a handful of loving belgians? For sure they couldn’t let us down. It’s probably also why Gone, Trapped Nerve and even Driftwood made an appearance. And despite everything going so great, gig had to come to an end and that end came way too quickly if you ask us.
Henry Cox might have been forced to restrain from making proper use of his vocal cords, but he spared no effort to stir up the audience and keep the energy at an incredibly high level, which we all sincerely appreciated.
Overall, we got to witness a small and lovely floor show mess that fitted pretty well the small capacity venue, where true fans were definitely at the rendez-vous.
As for us, we are still buzzing from Boston Manor’s performance, and we already can’t wait to see them again on our side of the Channel.
A huge thank you to Flood Floorshows for this pretty cool evening.
Debut full-length album ‘Be Nothing’, out now via Pure Noise Records
On tour with Four Year Strong early 2017
Debut EP ‘Death Deserves A Name’, out now via Pure Noise Records
EP ‘To The Wall’, now available on Bandcamp