The role of rock music in the cultural consciousness changes through the years. In our post-Internet society where whole cultures and movements are flattened into one, it’s important to remove oneself from the din and take a stand, assert an identity, actively believe: punk isn’t dead and music matters. What better brand than Dr. Marten’s to make this happen?
The Stand for Something Tour sees some of today’s biggest rock bands play shows across the world, including Dutch Uncles in Glasgow, Palma Violets in Norwich and last Saturday, Twin Atlantic in a sold-out Leeds show.
Hull’s LIFE kick off with a tight set, complete with practiced swagger and an archetypal sibling rivalry that pushes their music back and forth between punchy guitar hooks from guitarist Mick and the powerful punk vocals of leather-clad singer, Mez. They have the energy of a band who have just escaped their parents’ garage coinciding with the confidence of an act that just played Reading – unsurprisingly they’ve recently had coverage from the likes of the BBC and Guardian.
Creeper appear a different band all together. Six band members take to the stage and ostensibly land more on the gothic side of the spectrum, clad with skeleton themed merch and a vampiric aesthetic. Tearing through an impressive collection of tracks replete with fist pumps galore, frontman Will Gould takes it down a notch on EP closer Henley’s Ghost, transplanting the audience from what could have been a mid-2000s Warped tour to a beautiful refrain in the vein of Queen. Yes. Queen.
Despite being suitably entertained by the support acts, it becomes wildly evident that everyone is here to see Twin Atlantic. After a huge year for the band, in which they played a massive T in the Park show and a momentous headline gig at Glasgow’s Hydro, the very fact that they’re playing this relatively tiny venue is remarkable. During a time in which even the most prestigious small venues are closing across the country, having an act like Twin Atlantic playing The Brudenell is especially meaningful and as the band start to play, the DIY ethos is evident in every wristband, Red Stripe and Docker in sight.
Frontman Sam McTrusty addresses the amped up crowd, eagerly hanging on to his every word: “This is our last show, maybe ever. So let’s see what can happen; let’s see what this can be.” One would hope the singer and guitarist is alluding to having no more shows booked for the year rather than a career break after a third, superb release.
If the unrelenting churn of tour life has taken its toll, it has also gifted Twin Atlantic with a superior performative finesse. In full control of a vociferous set, it’s obvious that these guys are total pros and engaging again with the raucous mosh pit, McTrusty pushes for more: “I know this is an over-18s show but that doesn’t mean you have to act like a grown-up. It’s the weekend, let’s fucking let go!” The crowd largely abides as mid-set the band delves into their now-classic oeuvre with tracks Make a Beast of Myself and an uplifting, choral rendition of Free.
“Where’s your passion / where’s your fire tonight?” McTrusty roars at the room which lights up with each swelling riff and in turn, each band member unleashes an unabashed grin, one more hard hit of the snare, one more heartfelt headbang, clearly getting off on the chaos of such a proximate audience. If, indeed, we do need reminding to stand for something, tonight is a blistering memorandum, forcing us into the here and now and bringing us face to face with convictions long since forgotten in the humdrum of every day life. Sometimes, all it takes is a great rock and roll show to jolt us back out of the daze.
Visit drmartens.com/standforsomethingtour for details of upcoming shows