Following the release of their anticipated debut album Be Nothing at the end of 2016, the Blackpool quintet have been extremely busy touring with the likes of Moose Blood, Wallflower and Can’t Swim. Ahead of their appearance at Slam Dunk Festival later in May, Boston Manor announced a set of warm up style shows that bring together heavy core pop-punk across five dates in the UK. Amongst a number of sold out shows, the group visit the Level 3 venue in Swindon, a night put together by Sheer Music and The Colour of Vinyl.
As the 350 capacity room begins to fill, the first act on stage is a solo performance from Dan O’Dell’s emotive acoustic project Heartwork (5). He demonstrates a presentation that is unlike the rest of the line-up, made up of slower jams that tells relatable stories and backed up with voiced interludes that connect the artist with his audience.
A much faster tone enters the room when Swindon local quartet A Way With Words (6) takes centre stage. The group clearly work wonderfully well as a unit, covering numerous duel harmonies, vibrant tempos and well-practiced dramatized pauses which results in diverse, loud alternative rock that begins to rock up the room ready for the rest of the night. Engaging with the audience during track Crowded, there is a large energy from them that hooks observers through the ongoing chants. Toe-tapping break-downs are evident in Reflections, which embodies crazy catchy choruses with funky rhythms. Piano tracking during a new EP track allows a hint towards their freshest sounds, as they begin to reel in the audience to finish with Paperthin and concluding with an impressive display of unity.
Secondary support for the tour is from Welsh post-hardcore quintet Casey (7), who explode onto the stage with a massive crowd following to support their set. There are plenty of Casey t-shirts lining the immediate mosh pits that set off right from the get go. Their heavy choruses and melodic breakdowns encourages a hive of activity in the venue, bellowing tracks from their 2016 debut Love Is Not Enough. What is so magnificent about Casey’s set tonight is how they can easily shift from vigorous, thundering drums and vocals verses to tranquil melodies and intricate guitar work in between tracks. The ability to emit an aura of calm when prepping for the next song gives off a Bring Me The Horizon-esque vibe that is pleasing to witness firsthand.
The high-energy vibes and constant mosh pit environment continues when Boston Manor (8) take over, as the crowd go mental for the mix genre five-piece. Fronted by the incredibly energetic and straight-talking Henry Cox, tonight marks the group’s first time playing in Swindon and they definitely make their mark on the town. The intimate venue allows their raw pop-punk sounds to vibrate around the whole room, encouraging constant movement from the audience.
They make their way through songs from the debut album with Burn You Up setting the scene as their opener and tracks such as Lead Feet following. Powerful interludes and intense choruses are in full force during Fossa; the harmonic vocal hooks work wonders with the track, adding even further diversity to their genre and sound. The group motivate crowd surfers to bounce around the confined area; it is a room full of pleasing energy and smiling faces throughout their set. The slight mic issues that arise towards the end of their time doesn’t faze them and certainly doesn’t affect their performance, there are still plenty of chunky guitar riffs and full-on break downs that provides the best possible experience for fans. A lot of times, it can be the audience’s participation that truly makes a live performance spectacular, and that genuinely was the case for tonight. Boston Manor worked from the fans brilliantly, and took it in their stride to give everyone in that room the best possible experience.
Words by Jess Boswell