I have been trying my hardest to see Against Me! At their own headline gig for many years now and something always gets in the way when the band play UK shows, however tonight my luck was in as I headed down to Bristol to see Against Me! Headline the newly converted super club gig venue SWX.
The doors for the show were advertised for 7pm and we got in to the venue shortly after this time but it turns out due to a club night happening from 10pm the times of the show were shifted forward so when we arrived at the venue Mobina Galore had already played their set and Milk Teeth were just taking to the stage.
Milk Teeth are a four piece grunge, punk rock band hailing from Stroud, Gloucestershire who formed back in 2013 and since their formation they found themselves signing to Hopless Records and have been lucky enough to tour the likes of England and America relentlessly supporting many big name bands as well as their own headline shows.
To start with Milk Teeth ran into a few technical problems with the sound not being set up right but after a couple of songs this got sorted out and was soon forgot about and Milk Teeth went on to play one hell of an memorable set and reminded me slightly of the Courtney Love fronted band Hole but with a whole lot more charisma and balls.
The band’s debut album ‘Vile Child’ will be a year old in January and the majority of the bands 30minute set tonight was taken from that album with the likes of ‘Brickwork’, ‘Burger Drop’, ‘Crows Feet’ and ‘Swear Jar’ going down well with the crowd tonight.
From start to finish despite the early technical difficulties Milk Teeth were a complete joy to watch and front women Becky Blomfield spoke from the heart tonight talking about mental illness and dedicating a song to her transgender friends.
After a short wait the stage was set up for Against Me! And a big screen was rigged up on stage featuring an image of a pair of lips done in the classic Against Me! Pixelated artwork style and moments later the lights dimmed and Against Me! Took to the stage to loud screams from the excited audience.
After many line-up changes since their formation Against Me! Are currently made up of Laura Jane Grace (Vocals, Guitar), James Bowman (Vocals, Guitar), Inge Johansson (Bass, Vocals) and Atom Willard (Drums) and this has been the bands line up since 2013 and in my opinion the strongest and most loved line up Against Me! Have had.
The band wasted no time and smashed straight into ‘True Trans Soul Rebel’ which was quickly followed up with new tracks ‘333’ and ‘Haunting , Haunted, Haunts’ and shortly into the set Laura Jane Grace spoke to the crowd to say that having 7 albums worth of material makes it really hard when choosing what songs to play live yet they did a fantastic job picking their set list as the band managed to play 24 songs and all the classics you would expect to hear at an Against Me! Concert were played plus a good selection of songs from their latest album ‘Shape Shift With Me’ as well as some old songs the band haven’t played in years.
It was an absolute pleasure to watch Against Me! On stage as Atom Willard was doing what he does best smashing the hell out of his drums at such a pace, the guy defiantly gets better with age, Inge Johansson spent the majority of the set jumping and dancing across the stage whilst perfecting his basslines, James Bowman took a more laid back approach but solid laid down his riffs and front women Laura Jane Grace spent the whole set smiling from ear to ear appreciating the fact that Against Me! Have the perfect line up and she gets to play live shows every night and appreciate the love from her fans which was massive tonight with fans singing, dancing, moshing and crowd surfing from start to finish which kept the security on their toes throughout.
The highlights of the night came when Against Me! Played the likes of ‘White Crosses’, ‘I Was A Teenage Anarcist’, ‘Black Me Out’ and the super catchy ‘Crash’ and then when Laura Jane Grace returned to the stage alone during the encore for a solid performance of ‘Baby, I’m An Anarchist!’ which saw the rest of Against Me! Slowly join Laura Jane grace on stage for the band to finish the set with a triple header of ‘Fuckmylife666’, ‘Don’t Lost Touch’ and ‘Sink, Florida’ Sink’ which closed the night with a perfect sing-a-long.
Overall tonight was easily up there as one of the best gigs I have been to all year, Milk Teeth did a solid job of warming the crowd up for Against Me! And Against Me! Smashed my expectations as they came and delivered and I know for sure that I won’t wait as long to see them on the live scene again as Against Me! Proved tonight that they easily one of the best punk bands around at the moment.
Milk Teeth 4/5
Against Me! 5/5
Review By Trigger