Old Street, London01/04/11
Excuse me, folks, but this is Shoreditch, and here in Shoreditch we do not have mosh pits. Unless the band on stage is The Thermals, obviously, in which case we go apeshit. There is a significant cult following for The Thermals on this side of the pond, and it’s not tough to see what the fuss is about, as, drenched in sweat, the band storm through a series of crowd-pleasing classics, Hutch Harris spitting his politics into the mic as his guitar screams its licks (don’t know what it ever did to him, but he’s getting his revenge, and it sounds amazing) over Kathy Foster’s robust, melodic bass lines.
The sound is full and solid, nothing is shrouded in reverb; it’s all clear and present and in your face. Westin Glass (he and his drum kit have obviously had some sort of fight as well) pounds out his beats, keeping up the punk drive even when newer tracks come in, poppy and accessible and begging for handclaps. A few songs, like the hopelessly catchy ‘Now We Can See’, are re-played, and the crowd go wild, hanging on every syllable and screaming along. Dear the Thermals: That was awesome. Come back soon.
By Polly Rappaport
Originally published in issue 27 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. April 2011