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Live Review

At Koko, The Front Bottoms truly are back on top

Posted: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Tonight is all about The Front Bottoms. It’s been a year since they last headlined The Garage and now they’re back at the Camden’s Koko with hundreds of balloons ready to rain down on what could be one of the rowdiest London crowds the venue has seen this year.

The rise of the New Jersey quartet has been a palpable one. They’re very much a fan’s band and, from the Old Blue Last to The Garage and beyond, tonight is pure triumph.

That doesn’t stop Kevin Devine and The Goddamn Band making their mark though. Heavier than most would remember from his last few jaunts across The Atlantic, Kev Dev gives a mix of Bright Eyes and Belle & Sebastian in the charming narrative of the lyrics. Intricate and incarcerating, the well-worked groove beneath them builds into something grand, unifying and carthatic.

Backed by an inflatable ‘TFB’ rising up out of the darkness, The Front Bottoms stroll onto the stage and by the time frontman Brian Sella leans into the intro of ‘Skeleton’, it feels like the band have already won. What follows is nothing short of a victory lap. Storming through their set like a whirlwind, the band make their energetic blitz look like a breeze. Tracks like ‘The Beers’ (featuring Devine), ‘Swimming Pool’ and ‘Cough It Out’ are songs these fans live by and face to face, Sella’s lyrics come to life with.

The conclusion of ‘Twin Size Mattress’ provides one last fist in the air, capping a memorable evening and showing off just how gratifying this music is for band and audience alike. Anecdotal and well loved, yet feeling fresh and revitalized, this truly is The Front Bottoms back on top.