Just when we think we’re running out of words to describe Milk Teeth, they go and put in a performance like this. It’s been two weeks since we last them at The Great Escape and, somehow, today at Download they’ve managed to get even better.
“What’s up? We’re Milk Teeth,” nods Becky as the band take to the stage but with the tent overflowing before they’ve played a note, Download has clearly been put on notice. As a roaring ‘Brain Food’ rings out, even more people flock over.
Coming out swinging, Becky thrashes through the opening track before dropping back to let Billy take the lead in the build up to ‘Crow’s Feet’. Elsewhere Chris plays his guitar with a sense of flamboyant showmanship and Oli goes in hard and then harder. That sense of unity they established at the very start of the year has been growing tighter and more entwined with every passing day. Lessons learnt from Tonight Alive, Citizen and their own headline tour put to full effect, the four of them cram in more and more energy with every turn. They’ve wiped the snot away from ‘Vile Child’s nose and now they’re seeing just how far they can take it.
As great as their debut is, Milk Teeth are a good six months older now and it shows. More pointed, poignant and commanding while losing none of the fire, ‘Brickwork’ and ‘Crow’s Feet’ are absolutely huge.
The anthem-in-waiting of ‘Swear Jar’ is finally given a platform to shine and paired with ‘Kabuki’, dedicated to “anyone’s who’s felt like an outcast at any point in their life,” after bringing attention to the Gender Is Over project, is enough to cause a lump in the throat. With a reenergized confidence, the band slow ‘Kabuki’ down even more, making sure every word sinks in. Every person feels welcome. It’s unlikely there’ll be a more emotionally stirring moment at this year’s festival.
Even with their away team disadvantage, Milk Teeth make Download their own. Once again, they’ve come in as underdogs and left as champions. Even Becky’s “we should rename it Drownload” joke isn’t enough to dampen the all out success of today. If you needed any more proof that this band are something special, this was it.