LIVE REVIEW: Slaves, Lady Bird, Willie J Healey @ O2 Academy, Newcastle (07.11.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The last time I put myself through Slaves at the Academy, there was at least the incentive of excellent Hull punks LIFE in support. This occasion offers no such filip, though Lady Bird do at least bring some life to proceedings, displaying an exuberance and eclectic palette which just about staves off horrifying echoes of Jamie T. As for Willie J Healey, I’m struggling to recall the last time an act left me so skull-crushingly indifferent. There’ll have been a few, but once I’ve pressed ‘Send’ he’ll be joining the countless other listless guitar dullards cramming my memory bin.
Since my enthusiasm is practically dripping from the page, it’s probably worth noting that I’m reviewing this as a last minute stand-in – having already been roped into attending against my better judgement.

I’ll begin by giving Slaves their dues – they’re masters at commanding their crowd, and there’s no denying the energy they create and, more impressively still, maintain throughout. It ought to be infectious, but there’s nothing whatsoever to back their posturing. There’s no variety, no wit, no flair and most damningly of all, no tunes. Of course, none of this bothers the youthful masses. They bounce to every beat, recite every inane slogan and “duh-duh” along to every half-baked excuse for a hook; all while I lurk in the corner wearing the same grim expression as the long-suffering security staff. Never again…

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