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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
Review By Neil Oliver