Seeking refuge in the air-conditioned basement of Aces and Eights – after, of course, the football had finished – Artrocker hosted a night of noise, with Civil Villains and Sweat Threats.
For their first London show in almost two years, having spent time taking their sound further afield with a Pacific North-West tour last year, Civil Villains played with a dizzyingly unrelenting energy. Filling silences in their set with awkward – though undeniably funny – banter, but breaking the banter with raucous, complex songs; managing to welcome a crowd that though predominantly friends/family never once feels cliquey, but instead charmingly familiar, Civil Villains are, in all the best ways, oxymoronic. Balancing noisy, complicated (albeit incredibly fun) songs, with a witty charm, Civil Villains make for a great show. It’s clear why the US is falling for them.
Shortly after, Sweat Threats took to the stage, promising “22-and-a-half minutes” of fun. It seems short, but true to their word, Sweat Threats power through a set which seems to take little over 20 minutes. It doesn’t need to though, for in that time, the band pack in enough energy to rival an entire festival line-up. Despite the small stage, Sweat Threats didn’t shy away from head-banging their way through the set – though a bass to the face did nearly stop the fun – and seem to even surprise themselves with just how quickly they make it to the final song. And what a final song it is. After joking that they should play it half speed, Sweat Threats launch into the track in its true form – a ridiculously fast, cacophonous finale that shouldn’t be played any other way.
It was a short but sweet break from the sweltering heat wave, and one we’d happily repeat every Friday.