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Live Review

Powerful and playful, PUP return to London

Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

It’s only the tenth date of a tour that’s already heading for triple figures and PUP have already lost count of how many shows they’ve played. Following a one-off headline show at The Lexington earlier this year, the band have returned to the UK for a proper headline run and everything’s stepped up. Sure, the venue is bigger and it’s another sold out show but from the opening serenade of ‘If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You’, it’s PUP’s scrappy punk rock that has really grown in size.

Held together with the tension of a clenched fist and delivered with a cartoon excitement, the band take their red, black and blues and hoist them aloft. The room knows when ‘DVP’ is going to kick in but the rush is still supercharged while the likes of ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Factories’ swell with the capacity choir.

And while the band have shifted into something large and forceful, they haven’t lost that playful lust for mischief. Grins are fired from all sides, Gnarwolves/Shit Present’s Thom Weeks and Solids’ Louis Guillemette both take over vocals for a song, with the latter losing a shoe and PUP halting the show until it’s found via a Canadian moshpit. “Well, that was silly,” smile the band, knowing exactly the game they’re playing.

Words are screamed back at the band, meaning and mass-sentiment behind every phrase and by the time ‘Reservoir’ rolls around to close the main set, the world has dropped away and this moment is all that matters. PUP make it count.