By Dev Place
Basement have done what many of their affiliates have failed to do: stood the test of time. This Ipswich band became popular in the days of what I like to call the ‘Tumblr hype band era’; a time where 16-year-old kids had more influence on the popular alternative bands to listen to than the music journalists, based on what live shows they chose to make gifs of.
Speaking of this time, main support Joyce Manor provide a flashback to that era, playing the tracks most twenty-somethings will remember as alt-kid anthems such as ‘Constant Headache’. Half of the audience watch on, unphased, and the other half sing along in nostalgia. The set has no real flaws, yet no real impact. It feels as though Joyce Manor are another band that will remain at face-value.
Ecca Vandal opened the night, defying genres and storming through an energetic set. Ecca cannot be faulted for her enigmatic stage presence and polished performance. She carries herself with ease as her entire band easily navigates shifts between garage, to pop, to punk. She does fall in the category, however, of unusual and disputed- with so many influences going on, some may find this performance irritating, others may think it’s revolutionary. Ecca Vandal will simply either be your thing, or she won’t be.
Basement soared in popularity at the same time of bands like The Story So Far, Title Fight, and Seahaven– all bands that made a real dent in the pop punk and emo scenes. Now, however, bands that were on trend 5 years ago have only become dated and cringeworthy as we look back on the days of ‘defending pop punk’.
Basement, however, were never suffering from soon-to-be-forgotten music or a lack of unique identity. It’s clear on this tour, after the release of their fourth album ‘Be Here Now’, that this band have transcended the box they were put in years ago, and are much more noteworthy than popular press may give them credit for.
The entire set is sophisticated, from their understated stage production consisting of blinding light panels; to their performance, which lacks any sense of narcissism or ego. The set is a healthy mix of old and new, kicking off with most recent single ‘Disconnect’, which is an immediate singalong moment. There was also a sentimental dip into deep cuts, with the crowd turning into a huge pit and surge of crowd surfers for ‘Crickets Throw Their Voice’. If it wasn’t for this track in the setlist, it may be easy to forget where this band came from, and the days of intimate shows where people would literally bounce of the walls. Now, Basement still have that authenticity of a relatable, unassuming band who got big, but have the grace and talent to hold themselves in the limelight, and they’re about to make an even bigger name for themselves.
By Dev Place