Live Review: Spaced/Shooting Daggers/Clobber 2/4

Need something loud and abrasive to shock you back into action after the Easter weekend? Us too.

Handy, then, that on the other side of the bank holiday, the New Cross Inn is hosting three bands who are perfect for the job. 

Unfortunately, openers Ikhras (whose new EP, ‘Jahanam Btistana’, is well worth a listen) have had to pull out, but any lingering disappointment is soon swept away by a storming set from Clobber.

“London’s the fucking bollocks!”, declares vocalist Charlie, a man clearly happy to be home again, before the impressive oi-meets-hardcore stomp of ‘Tottenham Court Road’ makes us nostalgic for the days of the Astoria and 12 Bar Club (RIP to both). 

Their whole set is a perfect soundtrack to the mayhem that unfolds in the pit, but don’t be fooled – these guys are as smart as their music is tough, and in ‘Council Estate Of Mind’, they have a genuine underdog anthem, replete with the kind of bass acrobatics which Matt Freeman (of Rancid fame) would surely approve of.

Channelling their anger towards our shitshow of a government (and opposition), their enthusiasm is infectious, and we get the feeling their best is yet to come. Be sure to catch them with Sick Of It All next month.

Clobber, New Cross Inn, 2/4/24. Pic by Alex Goose.

Shooting Daggers are no longer just a hardcore band, in the same way that Refused aren’t just a hardcore band. Lofty comparison, we know. But dropping the three minutes of beautiful post-rock/shoegaze that is ‘A Guilty Conscience Needs An Accuser’ in the middle of their set is a gutsy move indeed – not something your stereotypical hardcore bruisers would attempt. 

Nothing falls flat today, be it the crunchy power chords of ‘Smug’ (you gotta BOUNCE) or the righteous rage of the older ‘Missandra’ – still played with as much passion and vitriol as ever. Truly, this is a band who have realised they can do anything, and if you haven’t yet checked out their recent (and brilliant) debut album ‘Love And Rage’, you are seriously missing out.

Shooting Daggers. New Cross Inn, 2/4/24. Pic by Alex Goose.
Spaced. New Cross Inn, 2/4/24. Pic by Alex Goose.

Headliners Spaced absolutely walk this tonight. It’s their second appearance at the New Cross Inn, following last year’s show with Buggin’, and this time they’re armed with powerful new LP ‘This Is All We Ever Get’. It was released barely two weeks ago, but everyone down the front already seems to know it back to front, and when vocalist Lexi demands a circle pit or some side-to-side mosh action, my goodness does she get it – and then some. 

There’s some seriously dexterous guitar work anchoring the likes of ‘Boomerang’ and ‘Big Picture’ amid the onstage chaos, and – like all great hardcore bands – there’s the sense that the band would spontaneously combust if they didn’t have shows like this as an outlet. It’s all too easy to recall GEL’s semi-demolition of this very venue about a year ago, and to wonder if perhaps Spaced are headed for similarly great things. 

We file out into the cold rainy night in high spirits, finally ready to face whatever the rest of the week may bring. Cheers to all the bands involved, and also to Real Life Presents (the promoter) – you did us proud. 

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