Words and Photography by Kieran Webber

Last week on a cold November day Slaves took to the stage at the o2 Academy Bristol for what would be a ferocious bout of punk infused ruacus. During this tour they were joined by special guests Willie J Healey and Lady bird, whom both put on notable performances.

Kicking the night off was the melodic sounds of Willie J Healey, an artist that carries a similar style and sound as the likes of Kurt Vile with a bit of Steely Dan thrown in. As people started to flood in, it acted as a perfect warm up, not too crazy but wild enough to get suitebly ready for next act Lady Bird.

Lady Bird exploded onto stage with their fiery track ‘Social Potions’, with the guitarist throwing himself around like an utter wild man. Their raw, uncontrollable energy was delightfully infectious, this was complemented by the cheeky chappy vocals of Don Lennols – it made for an awe inspiring performance. It was a non stop barrage of high octane energy making it an incredibly exciting performance, this band are going to absolutely blow up.

Lady Bird Bristol Punk
Lady Bird by Kieran Webber

After a very speedy breakdown and changeover of equipment the dynamic duo that is Slaves wandered onto stage and without warning burst into their cover of Skepta‘s ‘Shutdown’. The o2 Academy burst into cheers bellowing the song back at Isaac and Laurie who were thriving off the energy from the crowd. They quickly transitioned into ‘Sockets’ (one of my personal favourites) which quickly detonated, causing a real riot in the crowds. The pulsing energy could be felt everywhere and was wonderfully overwhelming.

Slaves Bristol Punk
Laurie Vincent of Slaves by Kieran Webber

Their set was a healthy mix of new and old, with a lean on their older material. However new tracks such as ‘Magnolia’, ‘Cut & Run’ (which saw two audience members be invited on stage to dance) and ‘Chokehold’ were utterly blinding.

The atmosphere which Slaves had created was exhilarating and exciting. It was further evidence of them being one of the UK’s best live bands. If you ever get the chance to see these guys live I urge you to go, you will not leave dissatisfied.

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By Kieran Webber