Rambunctious. That pretty much sums up Astroid Boys’ gig at Rebellion, in Manchester. The whole venue was a giant mosh pit of ninja style dance moves, stage diving and crowd surfing, from the second support onwards.
Based on how lit the atmosphere was, you’d think it was a metal gig, not a grime one. It certainly wasn’t an experience for the faint hearted and fragile.
It’s crystal clear why Astroid Boys have the loyal following they do and most of the crowd had seen them before too. They played a shorter than average set, but had more than the average amount of supports too.
The first of which was The Northaze. Two Leeds lads who swaggered around the stage, armed with a Costa Coffee cup, with unknown liquids inside.
Donning a mustard shirt, shades, their own merchandise and hoodie, these guys did warm the room up, but only to a head bop. People took the opportunity to get drinks at the bar and find their spot to watch the acts from.
They promised to get “grimier” half way through, with the removal of shades so they could: “flick [their] hair and s**t”. They got the odd cheer and whistle from the audience, but the venue really started heating up when Lunar C came on stage.
To quote The Offspring, he was ‘pretty fly for a white guy’. His rhymes came out so quick and fluid it was hard to keep up. He wore one his his own designs; a Bike Tyson tee-shirt, by Boisht clothing.
His lyrics were sometimes a little too crude, with graphic images put across of explicit scenes at a funeral. Not to mention him asking the crowd “do you want to s**g my sister?” Then again, explicit and shocking lyrics are commonplace in this scene, so it isn’t surprising, but certainly not suitable for children.
Before finishing his set, he plays a new track ‘Squalor’, soon to be released with a video and switches his baseball cap back to front- the classic universal sign of a bad boy.
A change of musical style came next, with the first instruments being played too, when Higher Power came up, with their hard-core and heavy sound. It was frustrating that the vocals were hard to hear over the thrash of guitars though and feedback led to some seriously high-pitch squeals.
Their heaviness and rhythm could have given Pantera a run for their money, so it really was a shame that these elements meant the set wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. However, the whole venue (from the front, to the sides and the back) was literally a whole swirling mosh pit of anarchy, with drinks getting thrown all over and people slipping and sliding on the sticky floor.
The musicians all looked very into what they were playing and the guitarist, who occasionally added a little screamo, looked a little possessed, as his eyes rolled all over the place.
This was around the half-way marker. Some members of the audience were getting a bit bored of waiting for significant amounts of time, between sets now, as Manga Saint Hilare marked support number four.
Manga was better at entertaining the crowd both during the songs and in-between. He had a sense of humour with lines like: “As you can see I’m a bit overweight, so I need a break”. He also directed people to his merchandise as he “needed new trainers”.
He also picked on a guy at the front, who he thought was particularly going for it, which adds a neat personal touch to the experience.
He was so pleased with the crowd’s response to him, with their whooping and cheers, that he said he wants to come up north more often.
It was then time for the welsh dragons to take to the stage- Astroid Boys.
They opened up with: ‘Cheque’, ‘Mask’ and ‘Foreigners’. Having the three singers on stage meant there was always someone working the audience, while someone else was rapping away.
Or, in the case of Benji and Traxx, they in fact join the audience down at the front; hobbling back up onto the stage, after being patted on the back too hard by fans. As people were coming down, someone else was going up. Security normally stop people getting a hands touch to artists, however, here, the fans could crowd surf up to the stage and dive straight back into the crowd after a ‘what’s up’ nod to the band. It seemed to be a free for all.
They gave the usual shout outs to the supports and played older tracks from their E.P. ‘CF10’.
If it wasn’t already clear how much effort they were putting in and just how fast they got their lines out, then their frequent rests would have told you. Traxx was given five second countdowns by the band, when taking a seat to catch his breath and have a drink. He said: “I’m Fu***d”, with reference to how wild Birmingham was the night before, which got a few heckles from the crowd.
The biggest indicator of how the night went came at the end when the lights came up; the drunken, sweaty and disorderly crowd, trying to navigate their way out beaming ear to ear.
They’re certainly one to see, but be prepared to get bruised and protect your valuables.