LIVE: This Feeling, Bristol w/ Jordan Allen, The DLX, The Malarkey + Socket

Socket set the scene of a night that had the overwhelming apocalypse of starting work at 7.30am the next day, by capturing the entire attitude of their band in the sound check. With this they already had people in the downstairs area of The Mother’s Ruin dancing or at least walking with a beat that closely resembled that of the song being tested. Their set solidified some sort of pop punk indie fusion with some high intensity drumming to boost it that little bit further than your average band.

Next on the bill were The DLX. A young-looking band that showed a strange ability to combine the energy and bass lines of a certain Led Zeppelin, with the aura and energy of a Britpop phenomenon. The short set wandered through stadium sized anthems and an acoustic number which did justice to how strong the vocals were throughout. The DLX had the completely novel idea to give out free merch. It was a good idea; I picked up 2 CDs and felt accomplished. The crowd took to these as talent took to Johnny Marr, whether this was due to the fact the majority of them were close friends I don’t know. Nonetheless the blitzing rendition of Jumping Jack Flash had a hypnotic effect on everyone in a 5-mile radius (the entire pub).

Equipped with a Libertines sound and post punk, occasionally Morrissey-esque, lyric base; The Malarkey showed up, empowering the thought that arrogant might actually be a good word whilst simultaneously channelling the false hope of an England Fan Pre-World Cup. The Malarkey provided a strange freshness to something that could easily go stale. The punk vocals layered over a very 2007 guitar is something that is often sought after but never quite achieved… maybe it’s the fact it requires a certain energy? That energy was not lacking here. I’m not sure how else one can sum up this band as they were on and gone in a flash, but there was some relentless charm that’s impossible to forget. For a final dodgy cliché, imagine a Slaves infused Trampolene with some slightly better clothes (to start with, as a shirt was removed).

It’s strange how a band with such an array of haircuts can display such humble cockiness in music and produce a sound that could rival anyone that has ever played a stadium. Needless to say, the crowd eats it up like there’s no tomorrow. Jordan Allen open their set with strength and intent in their heavy drum beats and familiar but new songs. Echoing the sound of earlier bands of the Twisted Wheel ilk with the addition of something distinctly Jordan Allen. They’ve come a long way since supporting The Sherlocks, and there seems to be an added maturity to their music whilst maintaining the fact they are a slightly grittier indie band.

On the day they released two new songs in ‘Half Life Lover’, and ‘Synchronized’ which manage to keep the crowd dancing like they have been their classics for years. They both highlight this new Courteeners level arena sound, maybe a sign of where they’re going? Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself? I don’t think so but each to their own. Speaking of classics, Jordan Allen finish the set with ‘R.O.S.I.E.’, awaking an instinct in just about everyone there to go fuck it and belt out the words. Ultimately showing just about as beautiful a moment as one can experience upstairs in a sweaty pub on a Friday night. These times are always reserved for these places and Jordan Allen gave it better than most.

George Baker