Photography by George Ward

Detroit legends Protomartyr fill the atmospheric space of the Trinity Centre with their dark, brooding post-punk sounds

Protomartyr have long been regarded as one of the most confident, dark and intriguing bands from the post-punk scene. With 6 albums now under their belt, after the release of their excellent album ‘Formal Growth In The Desert’, they are a polished, professional and no-nonsense live act who still know how to keep things exciting.

The first thing you notice when seeing Protomartyr is just how good they are at building tension. On first glance, they are a fairly unassuming looking band, but the second they burst into the opening notes of ‘Make Way’, the atmosphere inside the church transformed completely. The crowd locked in and the band set off on a career-spanning setlist with very little chat in between.

While it was incredible seeing their new album come to life, it was also a real treat to see some old favourites surprise us too. Seeing ‘A Private Understanding’ live was a real highlight and its slow burn build-ups sounded just as fresh and exhilarating as they did back in 2017. The band came together, never showing off, to create a wall of sound, both unnerving and strangely comforting.

I didn’t have Protomartyr down as an encore band but I couldn’t have been more wrong. After I was launched out of the mosh pit to the front of the crowd, the band came back on stage with renewed life, performing Protomartyr classics ‘Jumbo’s‘ and ‘Why Does It Shake’.

We were also treated to an emotional performance of ‘The Devil In His Youth’. Seeing this track live showcases just how versatile Protomartyr still are. Their energy, power and pure noise on this track sounded like an entirely different band to those who were plodding along sinisterly just minutes earlier.

Listen to ‘Formal Growth In The Desert’ here:

Let us know what you think!