LIVE REVIEW: The Murder Capital, Roxy Girls @ Independent, Sunderland (20.07.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Championed by Q magazine as ‘ones to watch’, and heading on a similar trajectory to Idles and Fontaines DC, The Murder Capital arrive with the pressures which must accompany strong media spin and fitting nicely into a trend for angry punk acts who hold progressive views. Perhaps the real question to ask tonight is not if The Murder Capital really mean it (man), but rather, have they crafted their stage show well enough to meet our needs for outward displays of anger?  

Nicely warmed up by local post-punk enthusiasts Roxy Girls, whose bass shaking, heavy rhythm section, is frightening in itself, the main act’s first move is to cleverly shift the evening’s focus from musicianship to performance. Decked out in sharp suits, The Murder Capital’s use of thousand-mile stares, face slaps and angry postures externalise confrontation; and whether they are angry or not, they certainly look like they are – which is sometimes all that seems to count.  

Driven by moments of post-punk (Feeling Fades) and deeply contemplative lyrics (“the world collapses around my room“ from Don’t Cling To Life), tonight’s show looks and sounds angry, which seems to fit the audience’s baying for blood. How much of that anger is real, is maybe the deeper question.

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