This show was meant to be taking place a night earlier; moved from Shepherd’s Bush Empire to Koko a couple of months before. Camden was the location of both of Basement‘s last shows before their hiatus – and their return – and now it’s where they perform what they referred to as their ‘biggest headline show’.
A couple of weeks before this show Basement dropped their long-awaited third album, Promise Everything, much to the excitement of fans everywhere. Having given us a teensy hint at some new material during their live shows last year – their album’s title track made appearances at their shows supporting Brand New – there’ s a lot of expectations around how these new tracks are going to fit in with the old favourites.
Opening act Alex G were, at best, a little weird. Choosing to start with a set with a song that honestly sounded as though they were all playing completely different songs at the same time was a bit of an odd choice; but it seemed to put all of the energy in the set into that one song. They became quite boring to watch the longer their set went on – each song began to merge into one after a while.
As Alex G‘s set dragged to a close, the venue started to fill up in anticipation for Tigers Jaw. Probably quite capable of filling up a venue not too much smaller than this by themselves, it’s clear that a pretty large portion of the crowd tonight are already fans of this band. In spite of a lack of new additions to their setlist – their last album, Charmer, was released almost two years ago – they play an impressive set packed full with favourites, even throwing in a cover of The Cure‘s classic Inbetween Days. A consistently energetic and fun set, Tigers Jaw are such a great live band that it’s easy to imagine them headlining a venue that size someday.
Opening with a new song – their new album’s opening track, Brother’s Keeper – Basement are on to a winner from the start. Playing a pretty equal mix of songs from each of their three albums, there’s not really a lot of room for anybody to be disappointed in this set. The newer songs are often sandwiched between some that are slightly more familiar, but it doesn’t seem to matter at any point. Their newer songs are received just as well as their older ones – in particular, the succession of Spoiled, new single Aquasun, and Whole is a high point of their set.
Even the moments in which the band tone things down a little as they play Oversized, and again when singer Andrew Fisher sings Yoke by himself, there doesn’t seem to be any real lull in this set. This is clearly a band who are so well loved that they can’t seem to put a foot wrong at the moment. After a couple of years away and the long wait for some new music, Basement seem to be completely back into their stride, and have gained some momentum that we’re sure they’ll be able to keep up with.
Written by: Emily Laws