LIVE REVIEW: Amyl and the Sniffers at Brixton Academy, London

LIVE REVIEW: Amyl and the Sniffers at Brixton Academy, London
Photo credit: Jamie Wdziekonski

The four-piece pub rock and punk rock band Amyl and the Sniffers not only came all the way from Melbourne, Australia, they also brought New South Wales band Pist Idiots along as the opening support along with British acts, Lynks and Bob Vylan as the main support.

Pist Idiots cranked up the decibels with their raw, Idles inspired sound with hints of Buzzcocks and The Only Ones. It was so loud many wore earplugs. Lynks (formerly Elliott Brett), masked and topless with army camouflage dungarees and accompanied by three dancers, sang choreographed original pop numbers to backing tracks which fused the Vengaboys with Christine and the Queens. Albeit eye-catching, Brixton Academy felt the absence of live instruments being played. Grime-punk Bob Vylan, opened with frontman Bobby Vylan performing yoga stretches before engaging Brixton in moshing and crowd surfing, and delivering with drummer Bobb13 Vylan, an alternative pre-Jubilee live experience.

With consistent stimulation of live music, the packed and sweaty adrenaline-fuelled Brixton was ready for the Amyl and the Sniffers. Enthusiastic people with mullets, mohawks, and moustaches made the pilgrimage to the front of the stage. In a no frills manner, devoid of video screens and overpowering lighting, Amyl and the Sniffers came to the stage, opening with “GFY” from their self-titled debut LP. Within seconds the mid-section was a riotous mosh pit, and for those unprepared, it was no-man’s land. The energy never waned, and the crowd’s intensity soared when the Melbourne quartet played “Security,” the second single from their latest album Comfort To Me.

Singer Amy Taylor’s black boots stood out, but Brixton was equally enchanted with Taylor’s glittered and gilded hot pants and silver-studded bra-top. She was ambidextrously agile and athletic with passionate primal stomping, pretending to hit her heinie and wrapping herself up, as if in bondage, with the microphone chords. Drummer Byrce Wilson and bassist Fergus Romer both went topless whilst guitarist Dec Martens, who resembles a young Jimmy Barnes from Australian pub rock band Cold Chisel, allowed his raw guitar solos to excite while keeping his denim shirt on.

Although there was little musical variety in Amyl and the Sniffers songs, each song was like a high-intensity workout which kept people wanting more. Another reason for the not only sustained but increasing excitement was the new added depth of songs from Comfort To Me, which saw Taylor’s lyrics become more political and inspired by feminism and books, including Caroline Criado Perez’s The Invisible Woman with songs such as “Knifey” and “Laughing.”

At Brixton, Amyl and the Sniffers, through their earlier efforts, devoted exciting odes to hedonism and took their punk evolution further through feminism and politics and by reinterpreting other artists’ songs. The finale, a punk rendition of Patrick Hernandez’s disco classic “Born To Be Alive,” demonstrated the progress this Melbourne quartet has made since their inception in 2016.

Xsnoize Author
Michael Barron 297 Articles
Michael first began writing whilst studying at university; reviewing the latest releases and live gigs. He has since contributed to the Fortean Times as well as other publications. Michael’s musical tastes vary from Indie to psychedelic, folk and dubstep.

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