Live Review: Slaves - Alexandra Palace, London 24/11/2018
Slaves are a band that just in this modern day and age, just shouldn’t work. They are so loud and in your face, they could make your ears and nose bleed. However here they are, sticking two fingers up to the system, as they triumph at their biggest ever show at Alexandra Palace.
With support coming from Lady Bird, who are one of the first bands to be signed by Slaves on their label, and it makes you think do they deserve to be there performing this early in their career as a band to such a big audience. But once Lady Bird walk onto the stage, they are greeted by a huge cheer and perform an on-point set. They are dirty, punky and so very British, that you completely understand from the start why Slaves signed them. Certainly ones to keep your eye on!
Following that was slowhtai, a name you wouldn’t exactly see on a line up like this, and this certainly wasn’t his kind of crowd. Despite being the odd one out, he still gave it his all, the raw energy that man gives off in his performances get more intense each time I see him. Jumping into the crowd, giving the boos a huge fuck you, and throwing up on stage. Fair enough, slowthai got a mixed response from the crowd, but I love him. He is so out there as a performer, however if people just took that in and saw beyond that, listened to his lyrics. They will fully understand what he is about, and with the way Britain is going at the moment with Brexit, he is the sort of artist you want around when the shit hits the fan. Kicking it all off and speaking for those who are not heard. So sod the boos, slowthai you have got my full attention.
And then there was Slaves. If there was ever a band to ‘smash-out’ a set at Alexandra Palace, they would be the ones top of our list. Crashing straight into their rework of Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’, then crowd turns into a complete riot from the moment go. Despite the madness, you could feel the love between Isaac and Laurie, and especially how much the crowd adored them. There were no set fillers tonight, each song their played was a hit with the audience. You look around in the crowd and the Slaves lads do on half attract a weird bunch. From teenagers, to indie-kids, and even some middle age mums. But that is what it is about them, they are the band for the people. The music industry system is not a place for a band like Slaves, and they have surely done the hard work to get where they are now, that’s why their fans love them.
The only downside to the performance, is that a band like Slaves certainly give you a work out, and you could feel the audience starting to tire towards the end. But they certainly help the band go out with a bang with set closer ‘The Hunter’, as the venues turns into complete chaos as the confetti cannons go off.
With no encore from the boys, it was certainly a good way to end a very warm, loud but landmark evening.
Words and Photography by Ant Adams