Beach Slang

Beach Slang

 – THE STAR & GARTER, MANCHESTER – 

My new favourite band, sorry Fat White Family, you’re gonna have to share a room!

Looking like Angus Young was an only child, frontman James Alex, not to be confused with Brit pop cheese maker of similar name, rallies the ranks with: “Hey we’re Beach Slang from Philadelphia and we’re gonna punch you right in the heart!” Well, in short, they did indeed uppercut my blood pumper with music to break the walls of this mundane existence and fill it with American punk rock joy.

Getting off at Piccadilly, I venture down Fairfield and notice The Star & Garter in the distance. It’s just sat there on the corner like a hobo, I like it. Almost begging for punters, I was completely shocked to find out how cool it actually is inside. The ceiling is so high clouds could form in here with the right conditions, and I love the primitive nature of the bar. A fiver for 2 red stripes yeah? Here’s 20 quid mate!

Climbing the old wooden stairs to the live space again, I am pleasantly surprised with the look of the place. I’ve never been here before and almost feel ashamed that I haven’t, I love venues which are long and narrow. It acts like a wind tunnel for the sound and enhances the atmosphere greatly, in my humble opinion.

Beach Slang enter and so does the crowd with a mighty roar. Hurtling through their punk rock repertoire from albums such as the wonderfully titled The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us (2015) and Broken Thrills (2015), their on stage energy is immense. Flamboyantly flying about the small stage, Alex is glowing. Not in the maybe its Maybelline way, but in the: I’m smashing the shit outta this audience with powerful riffs and driving rhythms sort of way. The emotive lyrics, which all really centre around dying young, getting high and coming from a battered past, are all head bobbingly marvellous too.

Highlights of the set include, ‘American Girls & French Kisses’, which has everyone at the front going ape shit, and the brilliant ‘Throwaways’; the opening track from their fantastic latest release.

My favourite renditions of the night have to be ‘Bad Art & Weirdos’, with its post-punky feel good guitar chimes provided by Ruben Gallego, and instant classic ‘Too Late To Die Young’.

Too young to die, too late to die young. I try to fight, but get high and give up. I aint ever felt loved, I aint ever felt loved.

Brilliant.

I really like Alex as a vocalist. He gives it his all, never half arsed. Lifting the shouts and screams straight from his gut, it’s a sight to see for sure. Ed McNulty and JP Flexner, which is the greatest name in the history of everything ever, are a very solid rhythm section too.

Every song is epic. This American band really know how to startle a British audience through the music, in a good way of course. Constantly chatting to the crowd in a bumble of nervous energy however, James Alex is by the second selling this band and their mission to me. Songs such as ‘Dirty Lights’ and ‘Filthy Luck’, along with covers of iconic 90’s bands like The Replacements and an impromptu Muddy Waters impersonation, all went down a treat.

To be honest I don’t think any of my words could do justice to how boss this set was. The whole night was great, and Beach Slang’s inclusion after some interesting features from Petal and Grover made my trip home very pleasurable. I left the star and garter smiling with their CD from the merch stand tightly gripped in my hand; I couldn’t wait to get home and get it on.

The playing was the stellar, the songs were bustling with positive energy and angelic resonations. This band are gonna do something special and this certainly won’t be the last time I bare witness. If it’s back in this venue too, then I couldn’t ask for much more.

The night is alive, it’s loud and I’m drunk! (‘Noisy Heaven’) James Alex and Beach Slang, thank you for your hope and humility. Get on this fucking band!

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I like nothing more than smoking bifters and criticising people much more talented than myself, it’s what I’m good at (I think), well sometimes I can be. I believe that getting wankered at a gig is crucial to the live review, you speak the truth, what you actually fucking thought. Rather than pussyfooting about, I like to be honest. It doesn’t bother me if people disagree with my opinions, that’s life innit. Listening to good music is vital to a healthy lifestyle, as well as the fruit and all that bollocks.