by Kiana Stevens
As someone that has previously seen Slaves live this year, I was thrilled to see them again at Cardiff’s own Tramshed. I had never visited Tramshed before and despite the bitter cold Welsh weather, the venue seemed friendly, had a great atmosphere and was a great size for a weekday concert. As I peeled off layer after layer of woolen jumpers, the cloakroom seemed definitely worth £2 to avoid worrying about finding any suspect footprints or sticky patches on my clothes the next day, which is always a consequence of attempting to tie everything around your waist.
The opening act, Lady bird are an exciting trio from Kent. A band with an exciting vibe, they managed to get the crowd warmed up and jumping. Their lead singer Don Lennols was someone who definitely was voted ‘most likely to get famous’ at his secondary school prom. His vibe had a huge appeal, with great fashion sense and the warm Kentish accent that I possess myself, I was quite a fan. Their genre, that I can only describe as a ‘soft’ punk rock, was an excellent choice for the opening act of a duo like Slaves.
As the clock struck 8:30pm the band graciously left the stage and the tech team began setting up for the main event: Slaves. The venue played classic 00’s songs as the crowd waited patiently, taking part collectively in everything from Britney Spears to the Cha Cha Slide, none of which seemed as appropriate for a punk rock band as Lady Bird that had come previously. However as 8:30 became 9, and 9 soon became 10pm the crowd began to lose the eagerness for the next act to arrive… After over 3 hours since the doors opened, no one had seen even a glimpse of the main act. My feet were sore and my shoulders covered in dregs of corona, all I wanted was to start dancing along to ‘Cheer Up London’, or sulk and get an Ola home.
Just as everyone seemed to give up, out popped the wonderful duo that is Slaves. Within moments they jumped into one of their most iconic new songs; Cut and Run, before speeding through another 5 classics that quickly got everyone well in the mood to have a great time. Drummer and lead singer Isaac introduced the pair and played on the frustrating “cock-er-ney”/Kentish accent confusion that I relate to so well. Their personalities managed to shine through fantastically and their music was better in the intimate atmosphere of the Tramshed than it was for the muddy puddle that was Reading Festival this summer.
As Slaves peaked for the night and begun to play their classic ‘Cheer Up London’ with a Cardiff title twist, most of the audience was in the moment and loving it. However, like all ups have downs, this rowdy audience also included a couple of fights. At this moment, Slaves chose to graciously stop their performance and single out the assailants from their position on the stage, telling them to politely “fuck off you pricks”. At this the crowd cheered more than ever before and as security escorted the fighters out of the building, Slaves reminded the audience to respect their security staff, and remember that this is a place to come together and enjoy music.
Overall despite the long anticipated wait for their appearance, Slaves and their opening act were not one to disappoint. The music was better than imagined, the vocals were raw and the vibe was brilliant, everything that anyone could want from a local concert on a Thursday night. The duo were respectful, animated and clearly still enjoy doing what they do, which is what matters most to a crowd. The night was wonderful and despite the biting chill, I’d do it all over again to hear Slaves educate me on the 65% of UK homes that contain at least one magnolia wall.
Did you know that? (I bet you didn’t).