California punk band SWMRS played a hot ‘n’ heavy show at London’s Boston Music Room.
On a breezy April night, Oakland-based punk four-piece SWMRS take over the North London venue with a sold out show. With their third studio album out last year the band embody everything punk rock should be, and remind us that the genre is indeed far from dead.
It’s their only UK show so it’s no surprise SWMRS make it an extra special treat for all fans in the room. They proclaim they “love coming to London” and London sure loves having the four boys who formed the backbone of this band about 13 years ago (Joey Armstrong was 10 at the time, if I do my math right. My musical skills at age 10 consisted of playing the recorder and making sounds with rubber).
The young crowd doesn’t require much warming up and happily takes on the invitation to party, shouting along to every word of Uncool‘s “I don’t wanna be your fool, I just wanna be uncool.” And that’s exactly what SWMRS stand for, asking their fans to be their own person, to not follow the herd and stand up for what they believe is right. It’s a dying art in the music industry, so it’s even more refreshing to see a young band pick up those 80’s and 90’s punk rock beliefs and proclaiming them to a whole new generation.
About half way into the gig, lead singer Cole Becker checks with the audience to make sure everyone is okay. “I hope no one is touching you where you don’t wanna be touched!” Letting your fans know you’ve got their back is one of the most endearing things a band can do (if you can use the word endearing with a punk band, that is). It gives shows a familiar feel, the feel of sitting in your living room listening to your mate’s band with a couple of good friends.
Just before SWMRS dive into Miley, Cole shares a passionate, true punk-rock speech, demanding the audience to “think for yourself, fight fascism, be a leader! Miley Cyrus does that well …” he exclaims and intoxicatingly moans the first lines of the song into the mic. As the drums kick off the room goes bananas – moshpit included, of course.
Now, not many bands can nail a cover of London’s favourite punk rockers The Libertines, and it sure is a risk to even try in their hometown. But SWMRS absolutely nail Don’t Look Back Into The Sun with the urgency and messiness of Pete & Co.
The band sends us off into the night with words of wisdom “If you’ve learned nothing else tonight – rock’n’roll won’t solve your problems but it will help you figure them out.” And I’m sure there were a couple of problems figured out at tonight’s hot and sweaty show.