Trash Boat at O2 Academy Islington, London

Early on a Friday evening fans begin to line up at the O2 Islington Academy eagerly awaiting their fix of pop-punk music from the sensational Trash Boat.

Trash Boat is a British pop-punk band from St Albans which may not exactly be the punk rock capital of the country but these five guys did not let that hold them back from achieving their dreams. With a couple of EPs under their belt and a couple of full-lengths, the band had plenty of material to pick tonight’s setlist from. Fans were particularly excited to hear their recent single release ‘Synthetic Sympathy’ live as well as their old favourites. However, before the headliners could come out there were three amazing support acts to get the room and the crowd warmed up. 

First up was Woes who put on a very good show playing to what was already a relatively large crowd that had started to gather. Cranking out tracks from their new album Awful Truth It was obvious that many of the fans down front had come early to support Woes as they sang along to every word. Judging by the reception that they received it was obvious that the night was gonna be a rowdy one.

Next up was Doll Skin who completely kicked ass with their own brand of punk rock that came with plenty of sass and even more talent. Amongst other things, they presented us with stories about strippers and instructions on what to do if you meet your local Nazi. Spoiler: it involves punching them in the face! As well as giving a performance steeped in attitude they were also pretty wholesome, shouting out a fan named Chloe who runs their UK fan club and bringing her up on stage to say thank you.

Then out came Capstan whose frontman Anthony DeMario greeted us with an enthusiastic order to “jump” and so everyone did. They were high energy from the get-go with up-tempo punk anthems that got the crowd all worked up. After a few songs, DeMario announced that they were about to do something a little different. They were going to play something acoustic for which they proceeded to play ‘Can’t. Lie. Around. Remembering. Everything.’ and it was a nice break in the set.

After much anticipation Trash Boat rushed out onto the stage, literally. Immediately they began playing ‘Inside Out’ from their most recent album Crown Shyness. That was quickly followed by crowd favourite ‘Controlled Burn’ and the already amped-up audience was kicking off. For the next few songs of their brand of emotive and raw tracks, they simply played and played well, with an ease that not all bands can pull off. They were very comfortable on stage and it showed.

Their stage presence was reminiscent of bands like The Story So Far and Knuckle Puck and they oozed confidence. ‘Brave Face’ was a particular highlight and hearing frontman Tobi Duncan sing this ballad shows just how far the band have come, his vocals are amazing. Likewise, you can hear the progression in all the members of the band with drums and guitars sounding better than ever. During the set, they played a good mix of songs from Crown Shyness and Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through with a sprinkling of other songs.

By the time they got to the end of their set, the crowd looked exhausted but the band looked as if they could play the whole set again. It was no surprise they came out for an encore and gifted their fans with three more songs. Of course, they finished with ‘Strangers’ and left the audience on a high leaving with that after the show buzz that you get when the band were truly amazing.

This show was a winner as far as gig nights go and the stacked lineup produced hours of excellent music and stage presence. It looked like it was as much fun for the bands as it was for the crowd. As per usual Hopeless Records have presented us with something really special in the way of Trash Boat and we’re really looking forward to seeing them play live again on the bigger stages they deserve.

Photos by Ciara Wilkinson.



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