Gig Review

Bristol, Thekla
11th February 2012



Photo Of Decade © Copyright Neil OliverOn a very cold night, a distant buzz of people and music can be heard when walking past a boat on the quiet Bristol waterfront. This is not just any boat I should add, but the renowned floating venue and nightclub that is the Bristol Thekla. With an original Banksy sprayed on the side, its not just an old man and a jukebox inside, but a hundred or so fans, with beer in hand, waiting for ‘Decade’ to take to the stage.

Inside the dimly lit and steamed up cabin, fans are warmed up by local support band Smile, Look Alive and Sell Your Sky. With a great mix of original tracks, banter with the crowd and a punk cover of Vanessa Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles’, the crowd had warmed up from the cold weather outside and were ready for the distorted tones and driving beats that were to follow.

Photo Of Decade © Copyright Neil OliverDecade take to the stage, surrounded by only a few rope rights with the crowd within an arms length of the band. The band open with the second track from their yet to be released self titled EP ‘Won for Sorrow’. Immediately it was evident that this was going to be an amazing performance from the Band. From originally seeing this band play Bristol O2 Academy 2 last year, and again a few months later at Slam Dunk festival, it was evident that not only their song writing matured and come so far, but so had their live performance. From a slightly shy and at times awkward performance at least year’s gigs, lead singer Alex Sears has now found the performance to match his incredible vocal ability. Hanging from the air conditioning unit in front of him, Alex belted out the heart-felt lyrics within inches of the faces of his audience. The intimate nature of the venue matched this track perfectly.

Photo Of Decade © Copyright Neil OliverThe band waste no time jumping into their second song, choosing a track from their last EP ‘Lost At Sea’. ‘Down Like A Clown, Charlie Brown’ is one of the bands most popular tracks from their early days, back when the band called themselves ‘Ready Set Low’. The track gives Alex the change to demonstrate his ability to scream out a vocal line when required and create an amazing gang vocal with the support of guitarists Connor Fathers and Joe Marriner. The crowd is a mix with emotion, the bands energy is spreading like an airborne virus with the people closest to them now jumping around too. Fans nearer the back are safe for now, but stand in awe at how a band can create so much atmosphere on such a small stage.

Photo Of Decade © Copyright Neil OliverAfter a short break and the obligatory “Hi. We’re Decade” that every band feels the need to do, the band break into the last track from their first EP “It’s Good To Be A Vampire”. This short but sweet, fast paced track never fails to inspire crowd participation, so much so on this occasion that renowned crowd surfer Tom Winslade leapt from behind the merch table to break through the crowd and snatch the microphone from the lead singers hands. Jumping backwards into the crowd, Winslade’s guest vocals helped bring home the true ethos of the track to everyone in the venue. “Sleep all day, Party all night, Never grow old, Never fucking die.”

Photo Of Decade © Copyright Neil OliverThe track finished to shouts and screams from the crowd, with everybody wanting more. A gap had opened up on the dance floor where the guest vocalist had scared away the smaller members of crowd. This was the bands chance to spread out from the cramped corner stage in the venue, and give themselves room to really demonstrate their ability to fill a room with mayhem. It was only a small step down, and it would have given the band a real chance to do their thing in a unrestricted space. Unfortunately, the gap quickly closed back up and the band was once again cornered. Regardless, nothing could contain these wild animals as they broke into their fourth track of the night, ‘Home Alone’. As the drop hits after the introduction, the crowd’s stomachs are pummeled by the precision low end of drummer Dan Clarke and bassist Harry Norton.

Photo Of Decade © Copyright Neil OliverThe band continue through the night, giving the crowd a great mix of tracks old and new, playing ‘Lights Out’, “Down and Out’, ‘Low’ and ‘The Doctor Called, I’m Sick As Fuck”. They made it look easy, never missing a beat and with energy on an endless supply. Each of the band members were dripping with sweat, but looking like they were having the time of their lives.

The band finished the night with the opening track from their new EP ‘Never Enough’. A great choice for the final track, it left everybody walking away from the gig with the current sound of Decade playing in their heads. If anyone in the room didn’t go straight home to pre order the new album, it was either that they left the gig unable to hear or they were tragically killed on the way home.

Decade are truly a band to watch out for this year, with my only criticism of the night being that they didn’t break free from the tiny platform they were told was a stage. Even the non-existent lighting couldn’t hold these boys back. I will be chasing these guys around this year to catch them in a bigger venue, to make sure they can pull of this infection atmosphere regardless of size. If they managed it, (and I am sure they will) they will be one of the few bands I will be proud to give a 5/5 rating.

Decade 4/5

Review By Neil Oliver


Alex Sears
Joe Marriner
Connor Fathers
Dan Clarke
Harry Notrton

 Band Related Links
Decade Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?