Basement & Joyce Manor @ The Garage, Glasgow, 18 Nov

Although both bands carry differing styles from within the same scene, Joyce Manor and Basement come together to create a cracking co-headlined night of anthemic alternative tunes

Live Review by Dylan Tuck | 23 Nov 2018

Co-headline tours are a bit of a weird one. Despite being described as 'joint headliners', one band still has to be the first to hit the stage, and often it just feels like a big name support act gearing up to another strong headliner. Nevertheless, there can be no complaints at a conjoining of Joyce Manor and Basement – two bands within the same scene but who possess incredibly different tonalities.

Ecca Vandal is certainly a 'get-the-party-started' style opener, with a cacophony of influences and noises all mashed together to create a wide-spread, genre-smashing performance that is really deserving of a bigger crowd than the Aussie singer actually gets.

If Joyce Manor’s performance tonight is to be anything like their recent album Million Dollars to Kill Me, then we should be in for a cracking night and, thankfully, that’s pretty much exactly what we get. Armed with a plethora of fast, groove-coated and downright shout-along worthy indie-punk anthems, the Californians dive through an absolutely whopping 15 songs across an only 40 minute slot – largely down to the fact that a great number of their discography barely reaches the three-minute mark, as seen on Million Dollars which has a runtime of a mere 23 minutes. That being said, there’s no antics or unnecessary stretching out of songs; the band clearly just want to play as many fan-favourites as physically possible, and have a bloody good time while doing so. Not only are they a perfect warm-up for the eccentricity of the upcoming act, but great headliners too.

Tonight has the feeling of an evening that’s a long time coming. The crowd are restless and energetic before Basement enter the fray, and upon their arrival onto the stage with opener Disconnect, the imminent rush forward ensues.

There is a supremely engaging vibrancy and dynamism to the five-piece, with a collective energy and slick-sounding live production that complements their relentlessly driving nuances. Ronan Crix’s lead guitar is a grizzly shredding machine on Brother’s Keeper and Aquasun; James Fisher’s beats are swing-soaked and flowing on Spoiled and For You the Moon alongside Duncan Stewart's popping bass licks; all while understated frontman Andrew Fisher switches between flowing and belted-out choruses. It’s an hour-long set, but one that simply flies by, and before you know it Fisher is announcing, "This is our last song," as the chugging chords of Covet creep in. The only time the crowd gets even the teeniest of breaks is for the emotional acoustic rendition of Changing Lanes upon the band’s return for an encore.

Basement are a band that rarely fail to deliver pounding, yet melodic and thoughtfully constructed, tracks – and that’s completely mirrored in a live setting too. As the bodies pile out of the door, the majority of conversations seem to be fairly similar, reminiscing about a fantastic performance from two of the scene's best underappreciated bands.