LIVE REVIEW: Lower Than Atlantis, Milk Teeth, The Faim, Engine Rooms, Southampton, 12/04/2018
Photo Credit: Jordan Green
Now in their eleventh year as a band, Watford quartet Lower Than Atlantis aren’t showing any sign of slowing down. Currently embarking on a twenty-two date tour across the UK we caught their show in Southampton’s Engine Rooms with support coming from The Faim and Milk Teeth.
The Faim is a name you’re probably not totally aware of yet, but they will rapidly change that. Signed with BMG Music and working with legendary producer John Feldmann it looks like 2018 is heading in the right direction for the quartet, especially thanks to their slick live shows. As the venue fills with the sound of rumbling thunder, confusion strikes people’s faces before they bound onto the stage, filled with fire from within. Working their way through their set we discovered the best way to sum up their sound would be Fall Out Boy mixed with Panic! At The Disco, AKA the dream sound combination. Set closer and single Saints Of The Sinners steals the title for set highlight, filled with singalong choruses, enthusiastic stage presence and vocalist Josh Raven’s soaring vocals. Pop-rock has been looking for some new blood and this quartet is going to be making waves across the world, with the audience in the palm of their hand by the end of their set – magic was truly in the air.
This tour has been one not without its glitches for Milk Teeth, and with frontwoman Becky Blomfield absent due to health issues it was left to Billy Hutton to take the reigns. Jumping straight onto the tour after their own headline run, the band are full of energy and have a big, brashy live set to show off their best material. Rousing the crowd into a frenzy the first pits of the night form, much to the band’s delight as they’ve done what they set out to achieve. They perform an interesting version of Brick Work due to the line-up reshuffle, thanks to the gritter, rawer vocals Billy holds. Progressing through the set without any significant slip-ups the energy bounces around the guys onstage, which filters through into the audience with more people paying attention to the triumphant set. Milk Teeth gain a new punk edge tonight and you know what? We really, really like it. Hats off to them, especially for continuing the tour under less than ideal circumstances, and pulling it off with ease.
It’s been over a year since Lower Than Atlantis released their latest album Safe In Sound, so it only feels apt for the band to open with Had Enough. Kicking off the carnage from the very start inflatables of all kinds (as requested by Mike Duce prior to the show) bounce across the crowd; we spot ice lollies, kangaroos and sombreros. It’s been a while since Southampton has been graced by the presence of the Watford band and in turn, this means there’s excitement all round, which remains throughout the show.
There is no unheard material in the set tonight, which has the advantage of singalongs throughout favourites such as Emily, Dumb and Ain’t No Friend, which are met with enthusiastic responses. After a lengthy career the band have been able to hone in on their live performance, making each track as exciting to hear live as the previous. The quartet are a powerful force to be reckoned with and we’re left wondering, will the venue remaining standing after tonight?
Lower Than Atlantis promised fans they’d include older, well-loved tracks on the tour, and they stick to their promise with the addition of Far Q to the setlist. The track, which is significantly heavier than much of the quartet’s new material, is performed almost solely by the crowd in between the eruption of moshpits. A set highlight for many and a change in the night’s energy comes as vocalist Mike Duce descends into the crowd, commanding and struggling to keep quiet to perform Another Sad Song acoustically. Getting up close and personal is a nice way to show that even this far into their career diva attitudes aren’t appearing…yet. Rounding off the main part of their set is the passive aggressive I Would, a cute but at times questionable track (sorry guys, light hearted love is cute but we can’t overlook it!), whilst Words Don’t Come So Easily closes the set with the packed venue chanting back “open mouth, scream and shout nothing out,” as if their lives depend on it.
Returning back to the stage for a two track encore of English Kids In America and Here We Go the crowd find their last bits of energy to sit on shoulders, dance and sing back every word to end the night. Despite seeing the band before we’ll never understanding why they end on Here We Go, because just as the night is winding down we want to party all over again! Lower Than Atlantis might not be playing to huge arenas yet but their songs are more than worthy of it. It’s impossible to not enjoy the quartet’s encore thanks to the singalong choruses and attitude that oozes throughout. It’s important to note that throughout Mike’s antics both on and offstage tonight (which at one point saw him asking for a circle pit in very broken German) Dec Hart, Ben Sansom and Eddy Thrower held their own with full blown musical passion, whilst Mike at times went MIA. Notably, when he chose to end tonight’s show by surfing through the crowd on an inflatable, we’re not kidding. This is what makes Lower Than Atlantis such a solid unit, bouncing off each other’s talents and personalities and holding their own when it’s needed. We just hope that new music and a 2019 tour is on the cards!
Written By: Nicola Craig