Slaves recently finished off their first UK headline tour, and we headed out to join the party at the O2 Forum Kentish Town.
The twenty-something punks from Kent are one of 2015’s breakthrough artists and are set to play this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival along with the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Tonight, Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman are supported by Spring King and Wonk Unit for their previously postponed show at the 2,350-cap, sold-out 1930s venue in the north of London.
The room is thick with anticipation and as Slaves take to the stage, it becomes clear that this is not your average punk rock gig. This has all the markings of an angst-fuelled show, with a poetic punk rock charm about it. True to form, the duo manage to bottle the energy and sound of a band three times their size. Somehow Isaac sings through a whole hour-long set while playing the micro drum kit with the energy of roughly 10 Energizer bunnies – punk rock style.
Slaves don’t just appeal because of their sound or their fresh approach to being in a punk rock band – their dark humour and relatable lyrics create a sense of community for fans that need something or somewhere to belong. The set is almost entirely made up of the band’s debut album Are You Satisfied? which was released in June last year but fear not, the fans knew all the words. Especially anthems like Where’s Your Car Debbie? And Cheer Up London bring the Forum to a complete boil and the balcony of the former art deco cinema is being put to the ultimate structural test with the crowd jumping up and down to the beats.
There’s a brief discussion with the crowd about the fact that one human year equals seven dog years, and resulting from this is the fact that in dog years none of the crowd or band would be alive. It’s weird and beautiful punk poetry that takes its climax in the Slaves performing In Dog Years You’re Dead, before hammering out their official debut single, and name patron of their first album, Are You Satisfied?.
On a cold January night in London, Slaves present a sweat-inducing punk rock show that leaves no questions unanswered as to what direction the boys career will be headed.