Floorpunch, True Colors, Frightening Fiction, 21 Gun Salute - Setting foot on European soil for the first time in a decade
Reunion shows, it seems like almost every old school hardcore band can’t avoid this. After having the legendary Youth of Today and Bold playing at Patronaat over the last few years, the venue booked New Jersey’s Floorpunch, who recently reformed after almost 10 years. Still got the blues?
First act of the night was Amsterdam’s 21 Gun Salute. I’ve heard a lot of things (either good or bad) about this band and as they play a lot in the Netherlands lately, I was wondering why I’d never seen them yet. Even though the venue was pretty empty at this point, the band took a decent fan base with them and the first mosh of the evening emerged in front of the stage. According to them, the cover songs are the best part of the set and so they played two decent covers of No Warning and Guns Up!, which the crowd indeed seemed to enjoy the most. The rest of the set was filled with some nice hardcore/metalcore, but failed to be original at every aspect. Still not a bad show and a good opening band for what was to come.
Second band of the night was yet another band I’d never seen or heard of before, yet this one impressed me a bit more. Frightening Fiction, also from Amsterdam, play fast old school hardcore in the veins of bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat and Negative Approach. The band had a playtime of about thirty minutes but after 15 minutes or so they already played about 20 tracks and so they kept their set short and heavy. Their thrash punk only got faster by the track, reminding me a bit of what Trash Talk is doing nowadays as well. The crowd didn’t really seem to give a damn, mostly hanging in the hall but they sure missed a good show. Only downside of the show was the band’s (and especially the drummer’s) timing, but as they are fairly a young band, I’m sure they will only get better at this. Keep an eye on this band!
Belgium’s straight edge imprint True Colors had the honor of going on tour with Floorpunch for their European tour. It seemed they had taken a large fanbase with them because even people from Belgium and Germany came to this show to see them (and Floorpunch, obviously). Yet, I have mixed feelings about this band; their performance is pretty energetic with the singer jumping all over the place, but I have the feeling this band really thinks they're bigger than they really are. As big straightedge bands such as Have Heart and Verse broke up lately, True Colors probably thought the same and are breaking up in May this year, which I think is a bit weird. They will probably end up in the same old straight edge hardcore routine, with only getting bigger after their breakup and doing a reunion in a year or five. They didn’t really seem to be very impressed by the small crowd reaction and so we were treated with a few completely un-understandable speeches/shout outs by their singer and yhey left the stage after a small 20 minutes or so. Some tight musicianship here, but I noticed this straight edge hardcore routine all over again.
After three bands, it was finally time for the band that really mattered this evening; Floorpunch! They kicked off a little weird with the 9 seconds counting ‘My Path’ but followed by the classic ‘Intro/Changes’ from their Twin Killing album. A nice half an hour set followed, including almost every Floorpunch classic such as ‘No Exception’, ‘Washed Up at 18’, ‘Keep it Clear’, ‘True Colors’ (guess where the Belgians got the name from), ‘Not For Me’ and of course the party track ‘Let It Ride’, including a small speech from the singer Mark Porter about the fact that he doesn’t drink or smoke, but loves gambling. The only thing that really annoyed the shit out of me was the fact that the pauses between the tracks were just as long as the tracks themselves. They barely played two songs in a row without a completely useless pause in between while the band members were just looking a bit into the audience. The music itself and the big hits from Fast Times at the Jersey Shore made up for this though and after thirty minutes and twenty tracks further, I left the venue with a satisfied feeling. Props to Mark Porter for giving a speech about the fact that he’s into Carcass and Morbid Angel as well. It came a bit out of the blue but we all love a bit of diversity! The lack of chaos from the crowd as we’re used to at these kind of shows and the extreme long pauses between the tracks made it a show that will probably not reach my top 10 of the year, but it was still good to see Floorpunch giving a decent reunion show!