Live Review: The Chapman Family at London Macbeth – 25th June 2012

By on Tuesday, 3rd July 2012 at 2:00 pm

The room is ready and the stage is set for a night of gloomy yet powerful affection from The Chapman Family. Tonight, in London’s trendy Hoxton area, the posterboys of post-punk revival are celebrating the release of their new EP ‘Cruel Britannia’ to around 100 eager fans who have been a part of this band’s journey since day one.

Hailing from the grim north (Stockton-on-Tees to be precise), the moody five-piece have found a second home in London after receiving critical acclaim from NME and Artrocker in recent years. But tonight is about justifying that reputation and proving to fans new and old that indie music is dying on its arse and needs a long overdue shake up. Gone are the days of three chords and moaning about girls, it’s time to get gazing at those shoes and sing words of genuine emotion.

Not long after 10 PM, following a trio of acts beforehand, the Chapman Family enter the fray doused in ominous red light and dressed in black – appearance is key to the band’s aura. With little need for an introduction the post-punkers plunge into ‘Into rhe Breach’ with all the static charm of their ’80s contemporaries. Flowing briskly into ‘This English Life’ the speed is turned up a notch with the string-snapping guitars rushing to maintain the off-beat rhythm that keeps the quirky quintet simply mesmerising.

New track ‘No More Tears’ brings a healthy dose of synth-work reinforced by the ballsy punkiness beneath. Despite being inherently a gothic, anti-pop record, the closing bars verge on the new breed of anthemic hardcore with the whole band screaming “No more tears! No more lies! No more fear! No more hate!” until the feedback finally runs out. The die-hard fans who have already listened to the new EP online are more than happy to respond and stretch their larynxes to breaking point.

Ultimately it’s a night for both the band and the fans to enjoy the new EP. Although these tracks might still need tightening live, it’s this frenzied chaos that has seen The Chapman Family compared to The Horrors and S.C.U.M. The overarching garage band ethos lends itself to set-closer and distortionfest ‘Kids’. Kingsley Chapman’s Morrissey-esque vocals warble over the barrage of thrashy, string scratching that East London laps up and exerts in the form of deafening appreciation. The Chapman Family has found more members to join its clan, who wouldn’t have it any other way.

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One Response

4:40 pm
9th July 2012

Bit of a shame there’s no real mention of the support acts here. I caught The Microdance and they were one of the most exhilarating bands I have seen at this venue. I also saw Cut’s last song and that was pretty tasty too.

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