In 2007, Location, Location, Location voted Chelmsford the 8th best place to live in the UK, and the city is currently a Conservative constituency – two pieces of information so uninteresting, I almost fell asleep typing them out. It’s this boring backdrop, however, which shaped 19 year old Jordan Cardy in to the rebellious RATBOY, and on Monday night he played to a sold-out hometown crowd at local venue, Bassment.
Cardy brought his infectious indie sound to the ears of friends and fans in this tiny setting. No barriers, a small security presence, and a low ceiling all combined to make opening song ‘Move’ a riot of smiles, singing, and smashing in to each other; RATBOY was energy personified from start to finish. He knew how to work the crowd, dancing around and encouraging fans to take photos and record footage. Eyes and ears were wide open to the sounds of ‘Wasteman’ & ‘Stick Up Kids’ as well as the splendidly named ‘Scum’ & ‘I Hate You’.
During the set, one fan actively encouraged Cardy to spit water into her face – not one to disappoint, he kindly obliged her request. Saliva and sweat soaked everyone, and fans took pride in their unpolished appearances. ‘Sign On’ and ‘Fake ID’ were played last, and naturally caused the biggest stir. The horde of teenagers and twenty-odds thrashed about like there was no tomorrow – and the closing applause was tinnitus inducing.
It’s hard to believe RATBOY used to be unemployed in his bedroom, writing and mixing his own tracks, with “no future plans”. Now, he’s tearing all over the country with his band and a multitude of fans in hot pursuit. On Monday night, he well and truly flicked the finger at the local education system that failed him, and mocked the conservative constituency he was raised in.