“There’s a reason there’s only two of us onstage,” growls Isaac Holman, the bare-chested drummer doing all the talking and most of the singing. “When me and my friend Laurie (Vincent, the heavily-tattooed guitarist in a leather waistcoat standing alongside him) wanted to start a band, no-one else wanted to join us.”
In many ways it’s a good thing they ploughed on as a pair, because we can only imagine the kind of carnage they would have caused had there been any more of them.
The duo are modern punk outfit Slaves, founded in the suburban Kentish town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Mercury Prize-nominated for their debut album Are You Satisfied? in 2015, and only last month the openers for Foo Fighters at the London Stadium. Dunfermline’s rock basement PJ Molloy’s is far smaller than the big-city venues they usually play, but this tour to preview their upcoming third album is special – with the support of the Music Venue Trust, it’s designed to cast light upon some of the national touring circuit’s best undiscovered venues.
The enthusiastic crowd packed in to PJ Molloy’s, Dunfermline, to see one of the hottest gigs imaginable on a heatwave evening in July, played their part in making this a show to remember for band and audience.
For fan favourite ‘F*** the Hi-Hat’, they formed an expectant moshpit and unleashed it with thrilling energy when the song kicked in; on ‘Cut and Run’, Holman invited a duo from the crowd up to join him in some enthusiastic dance moves; for the small-town ballad ‘Photo Opportunity’, hands were waving along; and for the barely thirty-second thrash-punk explosion ‘Girl Fight’, Holman went walkabout right through the crowd, psyching everyone up.
Fierce and uncompromising, but with amusing lyrics which show an affinity for those who are bored, aspiring and tied to a wage, Slaves are the spirit of the original punk rock sound, updated for 2018. No-one who was here will forget this gig in a hurry.