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Teenage Wolves live @ Young Bloods #1, The Legion Club, 02.07.10

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I popped into Young Bloods #1 at The Legion Club on Friday night to check out the headline act, Teenage Wolves, as I’d been hearing good thing about them, even though they’ve only been around since the end of last year and have only played a handful of gigs.

I’d never been to The Legion Club before: I’d heard that it had been used as a venue before but that it wasn’t a place that held bands very regularly. The place only gets used from 10 – 2 during the day so there’s a lot of potential for it to be used in the evenings. Now that the re-developed and re-opened Waterloo no longer does bands, it’s also the closet venue to my house. It’s a fairly smallish room (the capacity for the night was set at 100) and the décor – fully resplendent with an assortment of flags and a 3D carving of Jesus carrying a cross – provides a bit of a surreal backdrop but the sound was fairly good and the drink prices cheap.

Being an all ages show and with the impact of the venue itself, it’s got an air of a school disco; most of the audience are sat cross-armed on chairs around the side, although there’s one guy without shoes moshing energetically by himself when I first get there and see the messy end of Dirty Bird‘s set. It’s reached that point of the night where there’s no songs left to play and it’s broken down to some unstructured and self-indulgent noise and posturing. The sound desk is giving them signs to stop as they’d run over their time but to no avail and in the end they miss their chance for a graceful exit when the sound is unceremoniously cut. They’ve been a good band when I’ve seen them play previously and it would be a shame if they let arrogance spoil some of the support and good will they’ve been given over the last year.

Teenage Wolves are a band in their infancy and far from being the finished product. They start tonight (from memory) with two instrumental tracks – Sharp Teeth and El Mar Muerto – and whilst starting with instrumental tracks has some advantages, particularly for the band, it’s slightly disappointing seeing a band for the first time and wanting them to really grab your attention from the very first note rather than easing themselves into their set. All-in-all the band plays 11 songs tonight which is a brave move for such a young band but is ultimately too many songs: they would have been better off playing 6 or 7 songs and playing for 20 minutes even though they are the headline band tonight. The stronger songs in their current repertoire -particularly Blue Moon and Man With No Name – stand out and show that the band has potential but that they need to keep writing songs to build up an overall stronger set.

From a photographic point of view, there’s a really good and very natural dynamic between the band and the interplay during songs is great. It’s always something than fascinates me when watching bands play on stage: I think it highlights the confidence and competency of a band and Teenage Wolves have these attributes in spades so I look forward to seeing how they develop in the future.

All Photos ©2010 Justin Edwards. All Rights Reserved.

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