In the shape of ROAM and Knuckle Puck, the sold out Islington Academy had two fantastic support sets to enjoy before the main event. Eastborne’s ROAM may be used to smaller stages, but with a deal signed with Hopeless and plenty of decent material to offer, it’s not that far fetched to imagine them making the same kind of waves as fellow UK pop-punk heroes Neck Deep in the not too distant future. With no sign of nerves they certainly won over plenty of fans at this show.
After the recent release of debut album Copacetic, Knuckle Puck are on a high, and it shows. Full of confidence frontman Joe Taylor was in his element as the Chicago troupe ripped through their short set. As the first few crowdsurfers piled over the barrier, the packed room was warmed up in style with singles Disdain and True Contrite.
When I first checked out State Champs supporting New Found Glory a year ago, I was impressed by the band’s energetic performance and addictively catchy songs. It was clear at the time that they had won themselves a strong UK following already, and with some belting new singles from the band’s forthcoming second album getting air time, it was no great surprise that it only seemed to have boomed.
Opening with All You Are Is History the excitement level in the room hit 11 from the off. Bounding across the stage frontman Derek Discanio with his reversed cap and wide grin was more than happy to lead the party atmosphere. Remedy saw the band spin and kick almost as much as those who found themselves in the first few pits, before quickly following it up with the fantastic Secrets. Around The World And Back may not be out for almost another month, but that didn’t seem to have stopped the crowd from learning every word from its tracks already.
Prepare To Be Noticed, Deadly Conversation, Simple Existence and Easy Enough were then given outings as the band treated the crowd to debut record Nothings Wrong almost in its entirety. With Hard To Please the short set was brought to its initial close. To be honest with so much fun being had it felt premature for it to be the end already. Still, if you can keep the fans wanting more its got to be a good thing right?
Returning to the stage for new track Losing Myself, State Champs once more proved that their knack for a hook has only improved in the time between their full-lengths. If you’re into pop punk then trust me when I say, it stands a very good chance of being one of this year’s must own albums. Finishing with the hit that really broke them, Elevated saw the band bring the show to a close in victorious style. Pop punk is as far from dead as it’s ever been, but for a new generation, these will become its rightful heroes.