British punk duo, Slaves, have been making waves across the UK and Europe since they formed in 2012. With their first album gaining a Mercury Prize nomination, their sophomore and third albums followed quickly, and also brought critical acclaim. They finally managed to make it down under for Download Festival, and kindly stopped by Amplifier last Wednesday while they were in the country.
Dead Sea, the local three piece, opened up the night with their grungy sounds, their single Antimatter absolutely shining live. The trio got heads bobbing in anticipation for the main act, despite having only a short set.
Issac Holman and Laurie Vincent of Slaves took to the stage, and the unfortunately small crowd immediately pushed forward. Holman already had his shirt off; he was ready to get sweaty. They opened with The Lives They Wish They Had from their most recent release, Acts of Fear and Love (2018), before following up with popular track, Magnolia and a favourite from their debut, Sockets.
They launched into some heavier numbers, Live Like An Animal and Bugs, before once again pulling out an old favourite with Cheer Up London, which saw Laurie jump into the crowd, guitar and all. Another track form their debut, 2015’s Are You Satisfied? was up next as the duo launched into Feed the Mantaray before backing it up with one of their best songs, and a popular B-Side, Where’s Your Car Debbie?
Photo Opportunity provided a much-needed quiet moment, as the band, and the crowd, slowed down to enjoy being serenaded by Holman, but the breather didn’t last long as the crowd was surging again to Chokehold. Beauty Quest saw Isaac make it up to the bar, get a drink and climb atop, in what was a very punk move. The crowd absolutely lapped it up, before they closed the show with The Hunter.
Slaves didn’t just visit Perth, they very loudly announced their arrival in Australia, and made sure that nobody would forget it. An incredible night, and one that was long overdue. Hopefully if the duo return there won’t be as much empty space in Amps.
Photos by Adrian Thomson