It’s Friday night at the Soup Kitchen in Manchester. Upstairs, blokes are slackening their ties and chatting the ears off their girlfriends. A delightful aroma fills the air (the food is for reals good here) and it’s the end of the working week, everyone’s happy. Downstairs, an excited crowd are awaiting the arrival of Slaves, the punk-rock duo from ‘Bigfoot hotspot‘ Tunbridge Wells. The crowd have been whipped into a quiet frenzy (save for one cunt of a woman…), thanks to Birthday Cake for Breakfast favourites Bad Grammar and co-headliner’s, Canadian punk rockers PUP. Everyone is a few pints in and eager for the headliner’s.
Hours earlier, I’m stood backstage with the lads from Slaves in a room that does not smell as delightful as upstairs. Far from it. We’re talking about their sudden rise in popularity – A fact which was confirmed earlier that week by a certain blue tick appearing next to their band name on Twitter.
“That little blue tick means a lot”
“Laurie likes a bit of Twitter”
Is that it for the boy’s then, a blue tick to confirm their superstardom? Guitarist Laurie jokingly confirms “That’s it – done. We can give it up now…” and adding to that “Not even Kettle chips will do nowadays…” But it’s all in jest, as even fancy riders are pretty new to the band. Having only been on the scene for a short while, Slaves have already gained a sizeable following, and in the next few months they’re heading on tour with another massive two piece – Blood Red Shoes. Supporting Blood Red Shoes on some of their European dates as well the length of their UK tour, Laurie puts it perfectly “It’s like a mega two piece Monster Mash”
With their fourth album hitting stores soon, Blood Red Shoes are a two headed behemoth with a huge audience, which suits Slaves just fine “It’s nice to play with people like Blood Red Shoes, ‘cus you know there’s gonna be people there. It’s a good chance to win over people. I don’t think it’s the right time for us yet, but we will headline soon”
Before that though, Slaves will be making their American debut in March when they head to Austin, Texas to play SXSW. This will be the first time they’ve played as a band outside the UK, and whilst excited about the trip, drummer Isaac is a bit pensive “I’ve never been to America, so…It’ll be cool, I’m really scared of flying though. Nervous.” But with the realisation that he‘s going to have to overcome a ten hour flight, he blows it off “…Have a few Chardonnay’s, a nap – it’ll be fine”
Away from gigging, they’ve just released a new single, which has quite the back story, as Isaac tell us “It’s called ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ It’s all about walking a girl called Debbie back to her car and being scared of bumping into Bigfoot, because there are rumours of a Bigfoot in the woods in Tunbridge Wells..”
“Recently sighted – It got sighted back in 1930 or summink and then it’s been sighted by some ramblers quite recently, and this like really scared me… Laurie was scared by it as well actually”
“We had to walk Debbie to her car basically, in case the Bigfoot did come…It’s more about being scared of Bigfoot”
Adding to the aforementioned Blood Red Shoes and SXSW tours, Slaves will also be playing Great Escape with a view to get themselves on more festivals as the year progresses, which seems to have pleased Isaac no end “I finally handed in my notice at work the other day, and it was quite a good moment”
So back to the show, and Slaves take to the stage. They cut a pretty menacing picture when they’re up there, looking pretty intense and determined. Laurie riffs like mad whilst Isaac, who stands the entire show, absolutely pounds away on his kit. The songs are fast and sharp, and as the crowd lapped it up, Slaves really got into it. It’s pure obnoxious punk and it’s absolutely killer! As good as they are on record, it’s even better live. They’re looking to blow up big time this year, so it was great to see them in a relatively small venue, considering next time they will probably be selling out huge venues!
‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ is available now (with a vinyl release forthcoming) and can be purchased here. If you want a little try before you buy, there’s also a selection of tunes on the Slaves Soundcloud.