Blaenavon @ Heaven, 7/4/17

In Live Reviews by Josh Hannen

Blaenavon’s ‘That’s Your Lot’ is a beautiful exploration of the progressive sound the band have developed thus far. Tonight, their album release show at Heaven showed just how far the band have come in five years. Last time we had the pleasure of seeing Blaenavon’s live show was 2016, a tiny room in Leeds’ humble Oporto. Even then, the humblest of shows, the small crowd became electrified to ‘Prague’, but Heaven is where the band’s potential finally shined through.

First up on the bill is Fake Laugh; woozy riffs and hooks reminiscent of The Drums jangle with a retro sensibility, with last track energetically pulsing through an excitable crowd – securing Fake Laugh as definite ones to watch.

Between sets Declan McKenna brings a DJ set spanning 80s classics and indie anthems – everything from ‘Take On Me’ to Vampire Weekend’s ‘A – Punk’ playing to the audience perfectly.

Next are Anteros with their jangly, Blondie-esque pop-infused post-punk. Live, lead singer Laura is impossibly electrifying, executing a mesmerizing performance – percussion driven pop track ‘The Beat’ demanding stage presence that of an 80s icon.

Tonight’s glitter and flower-clad headliners Blaenavon bring their new album to London in a whirlwind celebration. Opening with the ‘Miss World’ EP’s ‘Hell Is In My Head’, the set is instantly exhilarating, ‘Let’s Pray’ then follows garnering the same, if not more rapturous response from an adoring crowd.

Singles from ‘That’s Your Lot’ were received with euphoria; ‘My Bark Is Your Bite’ a particular dance infusion favourite. Album opener ‘Take Care’ and its building, brash chorus was a delightful offering of new material, before a seemingly sped-up rendition of ‘Orthodox Man’ proved to be a joyous moment.

Closing with ‘Prague’ a stage invasion ensued as a true symbol of the support the band have acquired and kept. Triumphant, the set spanned a wealth of the band’s back catalogue, celebratory of a stunning new album.

Words by Jess Lumb

Snaps by Sam Wilson