Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: Milk Teeth, Cultdreams, Nervus, The Anvil, Bournemouth, 12/11/2019

Photo Credit: Sean Black

As far as line-ups go when you put Nervus, Cultdreams and Milk Teeth on the same bill you’re guaranteed to not only have a great night of live music, but also a crowd of open-minded fans willing to embrace and enjoy everything thrown their way. When this tour rolled into The Anvil in Bournemouth last week we got to experience the strength and solidarity of this scene first hand and had a great time in the process.

Opening the packed basement show was Watford quartet Nervus who were led by Paul Eitenne displaying the most refreshing, exciting energy we’ve seen on stage in a very long time. Performing a set heavily made up of material from latest release Tough Crowd, Fake taken from this release was a chance for fans to try and get involved in the sing-alongs even if tonight was the first time in which they’d seen the band. Tonight’s line-up shares a few things in common, one of which is their straight-talking attitude, at a time of such political change it is refreshing to hear them unafraid to stand up for everything they believe in. They Don’t touches on this by directly addressing the failures of the government, in a tongue-in-cheek package which you couldn’t help but smile along to whilst analysing each lyric. During tonight’s set, it seemed Nervus’ main goal was to make an impression and prove they won’t stay quiet on what they stand for and they definitely achieved this. 7/10

For some show attendees, Cultdreams may be better known to them as their former name of Kamikaze Girls. When the duo burst into action with recent single Not My Generation which takes on the misogyny and political stance of the world we’re in right now we knew we were about to watch something special. Lucinda Livingstone’s captivating vocals shone as there was an upgrade from stage right when previously performing with Nervus to centre stage for the second slot of the night. Showcasing material from latest release Things That Hurt, this dynamic duo provided the perfect pairing as Conor Dawson filled the small venue with huge drumlines intwined between whirling guitar lines from Livingstone. Cultdreams had pockets of fans throughout the crowd tonight who were either singing along or listening intently, us fitting into the second set but with plenty making up the first. We have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more about this duo on BTN next year so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. 8/10

If you’re yet to check out Milk Teeth, where have you been? Since they released their debut EP Smiling Politely back in 2013 the band have been on a whirlwind which has led them to where they are today; in their strongest position to date and with the trio clearly thriving. Opening their set with new single Given Up it showcased the dual effort of Em Foster and Becky Blomfield on guitar and vocals working in perfect harmony. Throw in the addition of Jack Kenny on drums helping to build up a sense of anticipation not only within the track but for the rest of the show, then you’ve got the perfect start to a set.

Tonight’s setlist offered something for those who’d been there from the earlier days right up to those who were new to the Milk Teeth magic with the setlist featuring music from across their discography and even an array of new material. An example of this new material was Destroyer; the eclectic mix of both the delicate, melody-driven side of the trio which shows off Blomfield’s vocals merged in with dirty, rowdy riffs and thumping drumlines. It’s a little bit of everything good about Milk Teeth and honestly? If this is an indication of what their February 2020 album is going to bring then we’ll definitely be keeping our ears open for more of this.

Swear Jar is an old but gold track in their back catalogue which brings a special moment at every show, with arms linking and phone lights and the odd lighter setting the atmosphere in the room, it was the chance for a big crowd singalong during the set. If you’ve ever listened to Milk Teeth before you’ll know that they wear their hearts on their sleeves when they write, much like the other bands on the line-up as there’s no holding back. Owning Your Okayness is an example of a situation of self-doubt we all faced which has been turned in to an impossibly catchy number for Blomfield to flaunt her incredible vocals whilst showing Milk Teeth at their strongest.

As their set came to the end, Foster quizzed the crowd to find out if the show had sold out, having promised to perform a special song at each date which was a sell-out and luckily for the Bournemouth crowd it was. Nobody was quite sure what was around the corner as Blomfield reached out for fans to take to the mic and perform this ‘old’ track for her, however, with no volunteers the surprise was unveiled as none other than 2002 anthem Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne. Bring some Milky magic to the track, it was chaotic, messy but incredibly good fun to be a part of as everyone realised that they definitely don’t know more than just the chorus of the track.

Tonight and this tour highlighted a true sense of community and friendship throughout not only the bands on the tour but also the fans. With self-care sessions being run by the bands before the shows and multiple members of this tour playing in two bands on the line-up during the night. It was clear each member of this tour loved every moment whilst onstage which in turn created a really special atmosphere at the venue.

Milk Teeth have proved they’re in the strongest position they’ve ever been and are heading into 2020 ready to continue evolving as a band gaining strength and momentum along the way. Was tonight the show of the year? We think it could be a strong contender for it! 8/10

Written by: Nicola Craig


Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar