front-bottoms_wide – THE ROADHOUSE, MANCHESTER –

In recent years there seems to be something exciting happening with the punk pop world. Having it taken somewhat of a back seat in the mid to late noughties as the UK were under an indie invasion, it seems that punk pop is back on top with an abundance of exciting new bands taking the scene by storm, adding a new spin and new energy to the genre.

New Jersey based outfit The Front Bottoms most certainly fit into that category and seem to be one of those bands that aren’t afraid to mix things up. At their core they’re a punk pop band but by throwing acoustic guitars and trumpets up front into their mix they blend elements of folk, indie pop and even a couple of danceable grooves to create a really unique and uplifting sound.

The band take to the stage to a good sized, pumped up crowd at The Roadhouse opening with the bouncy pop of  ‘The Beers’, immediately ensuing a crowd sing-along particularly on the punkish screams in the chorus of “…because you like a man with muscles, and I like you”.

In fact, for a Monday night crowd, everyone is fully engaged and hyped to be here and the band are in awe as the crowd excitingly dance, jump, sing and shout along to a set leaning heavy on tracks from their self titled LP which got a UK release last year. Four songs in, after a rousing rendition of the anthem-like indie rock fizz of ‘Flashlight’, a crowd member brings four shots onto the stage for the band as frontman Brian Sella jokes about being one of those lame rock bands that stop right at the start of a gig just to take a shot. Brian is a great frontman, constantly witty throughout the set, mainly discussing his new vocation of becoming a wrestler and bringing up how easy it is to break into their van after locking the keys inside it whilst on this tour. They also seem incredibly humbled by the crowd’s energy and grin in pure delight at the crowd sing along to the simplistic melodies of ‘Mountain’ and ‘Rhode Island’. Closing with the emo-pop crescendo’s of ‘Legit Tattoo Gun’, the band give the crowd sincere thanks and it seems that everyone in attendance tonight is uplifted! In conclusion, The Front Bottoms seem a much more fuller, punkier proposition live whilst still remaining the twee charm of their studio recordings. With a new record due out in the summer, something tells me that tonight’s intimate surroundings may be a thing of past in months to come. Keep a look out!

Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.