Amyl And The Sniffers rip it up in the round at London’s York Hall

Ringside with the Aussie punks as they face off against the whole damned capital

Plenty of heavyweights have passed through Bethnal Green’s historic York Hall, and Australian punks Amyl and the Sniffers pulled out all the punches during their two-night stint at London’s historic boxing venue.

Set up like a boxing ring for the sold-out double header, all eyes were on centre stage as the blood-thirsty crowd came anticipating a bout of pugilism, packed around the venue’s two tiers as the smell of sweat and booze wafted through the building.

Proudly sauntering out to Crystal Waters’ 1991 floorfiller ‘Gypsy Woman (La Da Dee)’, the Aussie band lapped it up during their ring walk as singer and cult icon Amy Taylor assessed all 360 degrees around her before screaming into the mic: “What’s up c*nts?!” And it was pure chaos that ensued, with chants of “Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi” and “get rowdy” encouraging the 1,200-strong crowd to let loose. Not that any encouragement was required – crowd surfers were already being ushered out of the pit and over the barriers just two songs in. 

The Sniffers’ punishing rhythm section put punters through their paces during ‘Freaks To The Front’ before powering through fan favourites’ I’m Not A Loser’, ‘Guided By Angels’ and ‘Security’, all anthems about giving a finger to mainstream society from the fringes.

Amy Taylor has often described how difficult she found it to forge a career in music because of her background and image, frequently being consigned to selling merch at local shows during her youth when she wanted to be tearing it up. Now she’s a bonafide bandleader – prowling around the stage in neon shorts and crop top, knee high leather boots and her trademark bleached mullet, Taylor embodied the kind of demonic showmanship you’d have seen from Iggy Pop during his time in The Stooges. 

Amy’s enthusiasm, idiosyncrasies, and penchant for profanity is what makes Amyl and the Sniffers so much fun. But it’s her lyrical potency that makes her so relatable, with tracks like ‘Knifey’ detailing her anger and frustration at having to be on guard every time she’s out late at night.

Taylor then marched into the moshpit for ‘Got You’, offering up the mic to fans as she made her way round the stage’s perimeter before making her way back for a ferocious finale of ‘Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)’ and Comfort To Me’s pulverising shout-a-long ‘Hertz’. With no encore, it gave the opportunity for the overjoyed Amy Taylor to end the night’s proceedings with some crowd karaoke, inciting a sing-song to Baccara’s ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’. Despite the disco-tinged finale however, Amyl And The Sniffers proved they’re punk music’s reigning heavyweight champions.

Find tickets to upcoming gigs and tours here.