Review by Roisin Clausen
Four-piece ska punk band Rat Boy brought upbeat indie sounds to Newcastle on Thursday 8 February, and what a show it was.
Opening acts Ten Tonnes, 21 year old singer/songwriter from Hertford and also brother of George Ezra, followed by Bad Sounds, five-piece, alt. indie band from Bath, got the crowd in the mood for an energetic night. Only a small fraction of the audience was familiar with the artists but this was not a hindrance to their performances. Their charismatic personas engaged the crowd and Bad Sounds’ funky alternative sound got everybody in the room moving, with crowds gathered around the merch stand for photos after the gig.
Rat Boy’s front man Jordan Cardy was first to make his appearance on stage, followed by fellow band members Liam (bass), Harry (guitar) and Noah (drums) as red and orange lights rose in the room. The crowd without hesitation went crazy, cheering at the top of their lungs for the awaited indie sensations. The bass guitar was first to kick in with the intro tune to debut album ‘S.C.U.M.’, recognisable to almost everyone in the room, pumping even more excitement and adrenaline into the veins of everyone in the audience. They continued the set with all their best singles along with unique tracks from the album, spreading messages of youth rebellion which the crowd got on board with gladly.
It goes without saying that Rat Boy’s fans are full of energy and spirit when it comes to making the most of the sweat-filled mosh pits, however as full on as they may be, the kindness in each individual was inspiring. One second everyone was getting pushed about, the next there were twenty odd hands reaching out to pick up a group of human dominoes who couldn’t quite keep their balance in the excitement.
The skank pop punk sound filled the room with joy and freedom. The way the audience let themselves go in the music expressed the carefree nature and inspiring significance of Rat Boy to the generation. The rap style lyrics of songs like ‘’Fake ID’, ‘Sign On’ and ‘Revolution’ voice the struggles and issues of being a youth in today’s society and make for an optimistic feeling of hope that it isn’t all that bad. Meanwhile, the ballads of heartbreak like ‘Laidback’ and ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ were heart-warming, which filled the room with smiles as well as sensitivity.
They concluded the show with most recent single ‘Left 4 Dead’ before leaving the stage to a crowd of satisfied and happy people cheering and screaming for more. As the shouting began to calm the boys walked back on stage only to spark uproar of anticipation for their encore. The band thanked the audience, picked up their instruments with smiles of gratitude on their faces and began to play. The whole show was complete after ‘Kicked Outta School’, an energetic banger which made the show one to remember.
One amazing night was then made even better for many fans with the promise of autographs and pictures by the stage door. Many amazing drawings and fan art were given to the Rat Boy members as well as to their resident talented photographer and videographer Tommy, as fans buzzed off the experience they had just shared. Whether it was their first time seeing the band or eighth, as one fan bragged, one thing was for sure, no-one was going home disappointed.