Live Review: Basement at The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

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A sweaty, overcast summer night in gloomy Wolverhampton proved the perfect backdrop for the Ipswich crew’s muddy brand of honest punk. Basement played loud, played fierce, and really kept the crowd on their toes with a well paced setlist that included pretty much what everyone wanted.

Kicking things off with ‘Whole’, the crowd burst into action and it was as if Basement were in the middle of their set already. The Slade Rooms proved an adequately sized venue that kept the show intimate yet hectic. I found myself covering all areas of the crowd, bouncing around the pit before settling into a fantastic position near to the front centre.

Shifting swiftly into ‘Aquasun’, it was great to see a crowd equally as welcoming to new and old songs. Everyone was singing each word with full force.  Promise Everything’s bass heavy yet mellower songs translated well to the live environment.

Old favourites like’Earl Grey’ opened the mosh pits and had the crowd throwing themselves left and right. Everyone contributed as Andrew Fisher sang “You don’t live there anymore…” before the song caved in on itself and created a vortex of moshers in the middle of the crowd.

It was at this point that Fisher remarked about the large gap between the crowd barrier and the band. While it was a shame that the crowd couldn’t be closer, he thanked everyone for their enthusiasm and encouraged everyone to get involved. The band slowed things down with ‘Oversized’ which once again emphasized the diversity in the bands setlist.

Going from one extreme to the other, Basement decided to drop ‘Crickets Throw Their Voice’ right after. The song managed to convert almost everyone into devoted crowd surfers. A constant stream of flailing bodies went over the barriers and it felt like at one point there were more people in the air than there were on the floor.

The set continued with the inclusion of songs from each album. ‘Yoke’, ‘Spoiled’ and ‘For You The Moon’ proved an energetic series of songs that maintained the bouncing atmosphere and helped everyone summon the energy to keep up with the band. A few more new songs thrown into the mix such as album opener ‘Brothers Keeper’ and title track ‘Promise Everything’ were welcome inclusions that really helped solidify Basement’s new album as one of my favourites of the year.

Basement closed down their set with a double whammy of ‘Pine’ and ‘Covet’, two songs from what I think is their best album ‘Colourmeinkindness’. A wonderfully honest set of songs that really define Basement as a band. A massive singalong came alongside ‘Pine’ as Fisher sang “Want me, I need you to want me / I hate myself, and that’s ok / Because I never have enough / I don’t love you, I just need to be loved”. Whilst ‘Covet’ had one last black hole of a mosh pit open up and engulf anyone close enough into a blender of limbs and bodies.

As the venue wound down and the lights came back on, it appeared everyone was drenched in sweat, having very much approved of what was an extremely worthwhile performance from one of the UK scene’s best acts going right now.

 

 

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