Slaves played the Dragonffli in Pontypool on the 23rd of July, as part of their ‘I Would Drive 500 Miles And I Would Drive 500 More And Then Drive 126 More’ tour. The tour, with only four dates, took them from Dover to Dunfermline, playing incredibly intimate venues, making access to the gig almost impossible to get. The Pontypool date sold out in about 10 seconds.
Supporting Slaves were punks from South Wales, Pizzatramp. Straight away, they brought huge energy to the room. Two members of the band performed on the floor, taking up so much space a good ten people had to stand outside the room. Although their set was short, their loud, aggressive and humorous songs, such as ‘Bono’s a c*nt’ certainly left an impression on the audience.
Slaves set began with fan favourite, ‘Sockets’, instantly filling the room with a tremendous energy that never dipped for a second. Combined with the current heat wave and the tightly packed gig, this resulted in by far the sweatiest gig I’ve ever attended. It took the phrase ‘dripping with sweat’ to a whole other level. Slaves debuted a couple of new songs off the soon to be released album ‘Acts of Fear and Love’. One new song, ‘The Lives They Wish They Had’ had an extremely infectious chorus. If these new tracks are anything to go by, the new album is certainly one to look forward too. The set ended with ‘The Hunter’, despite the audience being exhausted from the heat and energy, everyone collectively seemed to suddenly gain a second burst, making it the rowdiest song of the set. After the gig, Slaves hung around to ensure they met every single person who wanted to have a chat. Isaac and Laurie themselves are lovely, down to earth guys, who bantered with the fans as if they were lifelong friends.
My personal highlight of the gig was ‘Cut and Run’. Since the release of the video, Slaves have encouraged fans to learn the simple four-step dance that accompanies the song. Before the song started Isaac asked the crowd, ‘who knows the dance?’ As I had learned this dance I raised my hand, and they let me and a couple others join them on stage to lead the dance throughout the song. As an avid Slaves fan for many years, this was brilliant fun and was the cherry on the top for the greatest gig I’ve ever attended.
Setlist as followed:
Words by Lottie Catrin.
Image by Jonny Williams.