Few bands have managed to break into the mainstream as hard and fast as Slaves. Who would have thought the UK would have produced an exciting new punk band in the 21st century? And who would have thought they would be from Royal Tunbridge Wells?
The Kent duo, comprised of guitarist Laurie Vincent and drummer and vocalist Isaac Holman, burst onto the scene in 2014 with a series of hard-hitting EPs that made more than a few pairs of ears prick up. Their debut LP ‘Are You Satisfied?’ received critical acclaim on its release in 2015 and earnt a Mercury Prize nomination.
A year of seriously relentless touring including jam-packed summers of festival appearances in 2015 and 2016 has brought us to this point. And you would think Slaves would take some well-deserved time off. But no, they went and dropped their second album on the 30th September. ‘Take Control’ was almost immediately backed up with a lengthy UK tour.
Manchester’s Albert Hall was packed full on Sunday night (27th November), a night after the original Albert Hall date was sold out. Despite approaching the end of a busy run of shows and playing the famous Manchester venue for the second consecutive night, Slaves looked fully up for it as they emerged from a bright white light. They stand at the end of the stage and hold their first in the air to enormous cheers like the returning heroes of a punk revival.
They played a sizeable set which merged tracks from their new album with a few old ones (when I say old I mean from 2015). The duo even managed to calm down a ferocious mosh pit for a couple of slow numbers, including the title track of their debut album ‘Are You Satisfied?’ – For which Isaac joined the crowd.
Early fan favourite ‘Feed The Mantaray’ somehow slipped into the set list despite not making an appearance at another other show on the Take Control Tour. Another early single, ‘The Hunter’ was a good way to end an eclectic 25-track set.