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Teenage Dads @ 02 Islington (Live Review)

  • Written by  Captain Stavros

Teenage Dads

02 Islington

Words & Pics by Captain Stavros

In 2015, at the tail-end of Highschool, Jordan, Connor, Vincent and Angus came together in Victoria, Australia and would soon take the globe by storm in what was to be known as the band, Teenage Dads.  In 2023 they made their way into the Muso’s Guide inbox, and later that month at a sold-out gig in Angel, into our hearts via all of our faceholes.  Well, almost all of them.

The boys’ve been kicking up a lotta dust around the commonwealth lately with their EP, Midnight Driving, touring and grinding hard to promote slaptastic tunes like ‘Speed Racer’, ‘Hey Diego!’ and ‘Exit Sign’, even making the Hottest 100 with ‘Teddy’ charting #2 in the Australian Album Charts.  It was only a matter of time before the Pentonvillians would return to the ancestral stony shores of England showing no signs of slowing down.

Sauntering into the 02 in Angel we couldn’t help thinking the layout looked like a square that’d suffered a hernia, weirdly jetting out at the side by stage right.  The show took place upstairs, slightly smaller than its sibling downstairs, which suited us just fine as we prefer a smaller gig space.  We couldn’t help noticing that although we’d gotten there for doors a third of the space was already filled.  It was filled by really tall women!  We had absolutely no vantage but spotting Angus at the merch table with a bit of shmoozing got us an unofficial press pass to nab a couple of shots in front of the barriers, thanks boys!

Their set kicked off with great energy straight away.  There’s no denying The Strokes have been a huge influence.  It’s not just the tinny sounding, cutesy guitar but Jordi (synths, vocals, and guitar) is a young Casablancas incarnate in all but stage presence, that’s a compliment.  The Strokes are maybe the worst live act we’ve seen, ever, twice so it wasn’t just a fluke.  The barricades were continually swarmed throughout TD’s set.

The set, which blasted out at us from the get-go like a starter pistol, passed fluidly throughout.  For a first-time headliner they came across as seasoned vets.  Probably not helpful to mention but we’ve got no idea what the opener was; what we do remember though was it was near the 10-minute mark without losing momentum or anyone’s attention.  Between the songs we saw how the sausage was made, the boys are multi-instrumentally inclined; swapping continuously which lent to the tightness of the performance.

By track three the energy was still in the red, think of a Strokes/Arctic Monkeys fusion.  Not only was the energy being fired at as relentlessly, it was being fired back too, a mad perpetual energy machine.  Between being blasted by the speakers, sandwiched in between the lights which hit their mark, mainly our retinas, every time and the shameless slut-dropping for some reason was taking the audience by storm, we thought we’d burn out but managed to stay the course throughout.  We’re glad we did because when ‘Speed Racer’ was announced, their latest cut to drop, the entire audience freaked out.  It was the first time they’d played it live but, gauging from the audience reaction, certainly not the last.  This was around the time we noticed the proliferation of mullets in the audience the human species is a caecum of weirdness, but we digress.

The set ended with Jordi asking us to sing along to a cover song, which surprisingly everyone knew the lyrics to, ‘Video Killed The Radiostar’ by The Buggles, which they absolutely nailed, audience and all.  The set finished, to a rancorous dismay, with a jazzy outro introducing the band and thanking the audience.

The boys, in fishing vests, bowling shirts and surfware, filed off stage.  It was an awesome sight seeing the ‘00s dance-rock genre defiant scene making a comeback for a new generation thirsting to rip up the dance-floor or to just enjoy some slacker vibes with slacker rock in all its waviness.  Teenage Dads, in our opinion, the best thing to come out of Australia since chicken parma, hands-down.

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