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Live Review

Beach Slang & Petal lead lessons in togetherness

Posted: Monday, February 1st, 2016

“This is our show not our show,” offers Beach Slang’s James Alex to the crowd at a sold out Barfly. Their debut album ‘The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us’ is driven by a grand, unifying mentality and live, that feeling of togetherness rages. From offering the stage to anyone who fancies doing “a bit” through asking how much longer the extended, unscripted encore should last all surrounded by those anthems of community, tonight Beach Slang share their triumph.

“I normally do this with a couple of other people but I decided to leave them home,” explains Petal at the curtain rise of her set. “Hang in there and we’ll make it through.” Kiley Lotz might spend most of the set by herself on stage but at no point is she alone. Through the opening rattle of ‘Tommy’, the reaching admission of ‘Silly Heart’ and a glittering cover of Prince’s ‘When You Were Mine’, the room is hers. Taking the songs back to their roots does nothing to dull the razor sharp emotion. Instead the vocal lines, supported by ever-dancing guitar melodies, are throw into the spotlight and glisten. On ‘Heaven’, Kiley recruits the tour manager alongside Beach Slang’s Ed McNulty to give the set an extra layer of depth. It shows that at any volume, Petal is stunning.

Beach Slang’s dirty punk rock gets straight to the point and their show is no different. The band may switch instruments, recite Ernest Hemingway anecdotes and practice three-part harmonies with varying degrees of success but when the songs hit, they hit hard. Think sugarcoated Jawbreaker or grimy Bruce Springsteen. From the opening rattle of ‘Throwaways’, there’s a soft-hearted chaos which only grows in scale and compassion as the evening ages. ‘I Break Guitars’, ‘Punk Or Lust’, ‘Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas’, the band write songs for grabbing life by the scruff of the neck and tonight, that’s exactly what they inspire. “We’re Beach Slang and we’re here to punch you in the heart,” they promise. This is a band true to every word.