Live Review: Spanish Love Songs - Exchange, Bristol 10/05/2019

The biggest choruses of 2018 make their way to our fair land to packed out rooms across the UK and tonight here in Bristol we get treated to one of the best Friday nights on offer with beer, sing-a-longs and a community uniting as one for Spanish Love Songs…

Joining the American punk band on their UK shows is Scottish self confessed “misery punks” Goodbye Blue Monday. Their short, sharp, US college rock, tongue-in-cheek punk cuts kick off tonight in good stead and draw the attention of the prompt punters and those who slowly fill out the space. However not knowing who was on after them and seeming to not care was something that didn’t sit well with us, along with their poorly executed between song banter and a constant grounding issue that they had no idea how to solve or what it even was.

Local three piece Toodles & The Hectic Pity are armed with an acoustic guitar, bass and drums as their form of attack and aim to impress with their introspective, subtle yet engrossing songs. They seem to have gained a bit of a fan base in bustling Bristol and have a few mouths singing their lyrics back to them in as much of a reserved way as they are delivered as the emotional connection hits from stage to beer soaked floor. Any energy strummed up from the openers gets unfortunately sucked away due to the nature of the bands music and its left for tour support Pkew Pkew Pkew to bring the adrenaline and party to the Exchange…

With the room nearing capacity they do exactly that with plenty of tracks aired from recent release Optimal Lifestyles such as ’65 Nickels’, ‘Skate 2’ and ‘Passed Out’. Its fun, its straight forward and it appeals to the common man in the crowd with no ego and no arrogance involved, just honest punk rock. 40/45 minutes passes by in a flash and we stopped counting how many songs they ripped their way through but one things for sure if this band wasn’t on your radar before then make sure they are for the next time they roll into town.

Spanish Love Songs exploded into life and into ours with the release of Schmaltz last year being picked up by magazines, podcasts and the almighty power of word of mouth the band have enjoyed success and sold out crowds wherever they’ve gone since and tonight is no exception as everyone joins in and sings, shouts and cries back Dylan Slocum’s witty, relatable and at times wonderfully insightful and vulnerable lyrics that delve into his private life and experiences. But its that insight that has connected with the fans but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as impactful if it wasn’t for the stunning musical canvas it sits upon, melody after melody, genuine guitar hero ear worms and hooks crafted from the best parts of The Menzingers, The Gaslight Anthem , etc. 

This isn’t a fad, a phase or a flash in the pan, Spanish Love Songs are the real deal and that is what they are, real, it’s what drew us to them and here tonight at the Exchange in Bristol, and boy did we have the greatest of times.

Words and photos by Joshua Clarke