By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)
Seeing as both Canadian punk act PUP and British pop punkers Trash Boat had an amazing with 2016 with the release of The Dream Is Over and I Know That Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through respectively, it was a no-brainer that The Wonder Years would invite the two bands to join them on the European leg of their tour.
Having played in Glasgow before tonight, playing over in a different part of the city in the Garage attic, it was a rather big transition for Trash Boat to be playing in the Queen Margaret Union, in no small part due to the fact that they were performing in front of an audience four times the size of what they were last used to. That being said, you wouldn’t have thought that considering the performance the band put on last night.
With a debut album dropping just last year, it could have been so easy for the band to avoid tracks off their earlier discography but thankfully this wasn’t the case as Perspective off their Brainwork EP easily joined their recent energetic anthems How Selfish I Seem and Strangers. That’s not to say it was solely a braggadocious pop punk fest as there was variety on offer, especially when Brave Face made an appearance, undoubtedly the emotional core of the entire set with some touching lyrics to boot: not something you’d expect from a band who share their name with a cartoon reference. With many acts of their genre either trying to replicate what’s popular, Trash Boat are a shining example of doing what they want and god, they are good at it.
With their sophomore record The Dream Is Over being one of the most solid rock releases in recent memory, expectations were high for PUP especially after the rip-roaring success of their last performance in Glasgow over at King Tuts. Members of the crowd were not let down though as the act had full control of the audience with insanity and recklessness ensuing throughout the entire set, not a moment of calm to be found.
Every song played was adapted effortlessly from their respective records, each one being as hard hitting and ballistic as expected with hardcore gang singalongs and slick guitar riffs making a welcome appearance as well.
They definitely struck a chord, pun intended, with the audience as pits were continuous and it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see people throwing their shirts off whilst others crowd surfed above you. This was most apparent during Sleep In The Heat when frontman Stefan Babcock plunged the mic stand into the audience like he was forging a piece of armour and it was no real surprise when the equipment returned to him in tatters though thankfully he laughed it off.
Finishing off with the rather aptly named If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You and DVP, which Babcock played off as being one big song which isn’t a lie considering that they both flow into one another perfectly, reaching a chaotic climax where it seemed like the security were vastly outnumbered by all the fans flowing over the barrier. While I never got to stay around for The Wonder Years, it seemed like the energy on display with PUP continued into their set with a friend of mine even getting a piercing knocked out yet simultaneously loving every second of it. QMU served up all sorts different flavours of punk last night and all went down a treat, like a musical Neapolitan ice cream: who in their right mind is gonna say no to that?