Live review: Life at West End Centre, Aldershot, 8 November 2019

Hull punks Life entered the fifth week of a six-week tour by visiting the West End Centre in Aldershot. The run of gigs follows a support slot to Idles and ‘Hollow Thing”s A-listing on BBC 6 Music and the tremendous response to this year’s album ‘Picture of Good Health’.

The band prowled on stage with frontman Mez repeating the words: ‘This room is exciting’. He soon changed this to ‘Aldershot is exciting. We are called Life’ and the band broke straight into ‘Excites Me’, an angular song that references dinosaurs and has demands of the title. Following this there was an exclamation of ‘there’s a party’ and it only took a couple more songs for the band, audience and venue staff to build a positive rapport with plenty of people singing, dancing and a young boy belting out every single word right at the front (let’s take a moment to praise all-ages shows), who was rightly acclaimed by the band with song dedications and the chance to count down to the intro of a song later on.

With a post-punk yet melodic tilt across all of their songs, Life have important messages to convey including praising how powerful young people are and how they neeed a voice amidst constant shouts of ‘Fuck the Tories’. Single parent Mez dedicated the touching Art Brut-esque banger ‘Half Pint Fatherhood to his son, Gus, and displayed a few exceptional dance moves before moving on to songs about the struggle to find love, dancing and never growing up. ‘It’s a Con’ and ‘Euromillions’ from Life’s first album ‘Popular Music’ were further highlights, especially as the latter was introduced with the words ‘Fuck Brexit, fuck Donald Trump, fuck the Tories… This is a Life gig’.

There was another impassioned sing along to recent single ‘Bum Hour’ as the gig drove relentlessly to a fantastic finish. After Life finished their set, there was such an adoring reaction that the four-piece came back on stage to deliver an unexpected encore with band members ending up in the crowd amidst a sea of hugs, high fives and handclaps. Make time in your life to see this special band live.



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