The Front Bottoms seem to be the latest band to make Kingston their adoptive home, after being given a big greeting from the small crowd at New Slang on Thursday.
Unusually for a support act, the forty or so people at the Hippodrome paid full attention through the full set, made up of tracks from their soon-to-be-released debut album. The band proved that you only need three people (and a synth) to make loud, catchy, DIY pop-punk, and the facial contortions and exuberant actions of bassist Drew Villafuerte made for particularly fascinating viewing. The relatively unknown band still had the crowd singing along, waving and clapping their hands to songs such as Flashlight and The Beers.
One event which could have derailed the show, but instead served to strengthen the bonhomie and the DIY feel,, was due to nothing other than a technical fault. After singer Brian Sella’s mic failed, he was forced to switch to the backing mic, getting intimately close to Villafuerte as he sang over his head, while the bassist played carried on with his enthusiastic synth work. However the crowd more than made up for any lapse in vocals, and the song eventually drew the biggest applause of the set, before the band kicked into closer Maps.
Despite the meagre crowd, The Front Bottoms enjoyed a truly warm reception, and seemed truly happy to credit Banquet Records for the evening. With the store not only inviting them to play, but also putting out the British release of their first record, it seems like a genuinely heartfelt thanks, and served to make this debut gig feel like even more of a welcome homecoming.