Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: Cheap Meat, Kamikaze Girls, The Black Heart, London, 10/03/16

Not too long ago we reviewed Cheap Meat’s debut EP The Parts That Show, we pretty instantly fell in love with their rocked up pop-punk sound. To celebrate their EP release they held a free release show at Camden’s The Black Heart, so we headed down for a Thursday night full of fun.

As soon as we walked in we noticed just how busy the room was, despite it being free, let’s be honest Londoners are pretty picky with multiple shows taking place across central each night. That’s how we knew from the outset we were going to have a very good night.

Opening up tonight was duo Kamikaze Girls, having not heard material from the grunge outfit we were pleasantly surprised as they smashed full speed into their set. Vocalist Lucinda Livingstone’s voice possesses a captivating power, it’s angry and passionate highlighting that it might not be their headline show but they’re going to play it as if they are. Tonic Youth flaunted perfectly the sharp, frantic guitar and drum lines the duo specialise in. It’s refreshing to see a sound being pulled off with such confidence, we take our hats off to this duo. Set highlight came when Livingstone realised that the crowd weren’t going to come closer to the stage so she came to us in the crowd. Performing a personal track based on anxiety and the moving to a new place without really knowing anyone there you can’t help but really develop a connection to the loveable duo. Yes, they might be a whole lot different to Cheap Meat’s sound but let’s be honest a little bit of variety never killed anyone!

Next up was the act many were there to see, Cheap Meat. With the crowd surging forward towards the stage even before the trio reached the stage the temperature in the room soared, this was set to be a whole lot of fun. Storming onto the stage and straight into The Parts That Show, filled with earth crashing drum-lines, the power used by drummer Matt Rebeiro made us worry if they’d actually survive the set (Thankfully they did!). There are no half-hearted efforts being made by this trio as they perform EP tracks alongside bucket loads of new material which sticks to their loved, upbeat and just pure fun style. Tracks including a A Pop of Bubblegum set the scene for what’s to come from the trio, maintaining a bouncy, yet messy edge sound and lyrics you’ll be singing along to before the track is out. They also cover all the important life points including when you talk to someone, think they’re absolutely great then just realise, well they’re a little bit rubbish. We’ve all been there.

The friendship between the trio is honestly so important as to what sets Cheap Meat apart from other bands around right now. It doesn’t feel forced, there’s onstage banter in the bucketloads and it’s just totally clear that they love every minute of being onstage. There’s even the odd bit of band bullying towards Ross Drummond and his cardigan attire to which Rebeiro lets us all know “I prefer a cable knit”… fashion tips from Cheap Meat! Along with the unashamedly clear aim of getting a Fiji Water sponsorship with it littering the stage and being their beverage of choice, even giving us a speech about why it’s so great!

Closing the night with single Sweetness Take Me Back all cares were gone, a crowd sing-a-long occurred and the dancing both on and offstage made an appearance once again. It’s tongue in cheek, has a huge chorus and guitar riffs to flaunt both Peter Hakola and Drummonds skills perfectly. What more could you want?

Yes, there might have been a few sound issues at times, but you know what? We had such a great time spending our Thursday night like it was the new Friday night, that we can easily let them off. Cheap Meat are fun, exceptional fun in fact. They’re also exceptionally good live. Cheap Meat might never be cool (according to the trio themselves) but cool is overrated. Who needs to be cool when you can be insanely talented, fun and worth paying attention to. We definitely know which we’d prefer!

9/10

Written By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for pop music, the seaside and writing about other people rather than myself.