Trash Talk + Outlived + Them Wolves @ The Rainbow, Birmingham – Sunday 17th June


Review By Jack Arkell

Trash Talk’s Lee Spielman looks no different from any of the paying customers at the band’s show at the Rainbow in Birmingham. There are no rockstar-like clothes, and certainly no expensive hairstyle. He is distinguished only by the microphone in his hand as he spends the entire set in the faces of the baying crowd. This hardcore punk band’s live performances have helped them to carve their name amongst the genre’s elite, and tonight is no exception.

Earlier in the evening, Outlived opened the show with a well received debut set that hints at much more to come, while Them Wolves’ intense three-pronged attack on the ear drums also proved popular. With all due respect to these two hard-working bands though, their efforts would soon be completely overshadowed by the headline act.

Trash Talk arrive in Birmingham looking ravenous. Currently in the midst of a UK tour with OFF!, the Californians tonight seize the opportunity to play in front of their own crowd. Rather than looking like a band who have toured extensively in recent times, the four-piece explode onto the stage as if they’ve been locked in their tour bus since the turn of the year.

And then there are the songs. A barbaric procession of quick fire numbers, not so much played as bludgeoned from the instruments. The sheer ferocity of the delivery of ‘Envy’ and ‘Worthless Nights’ is particularly awe-inspiring, though you’d be hard pressed to pick out too many moments in which the quality or energy of the band subsides.

Maybe its Spielman’s confrontational style combined with the intimacy of the Rainbow. Whatever it is, Trash Talk succeed in making a live show seem dangerous again in a way rarely seen in today’s age of characterless venues and diluted live performances.

Either way, the crowd thrive on such a volatile atmosphere, providing the perfect atmosphere for the likes of ‘Slander’ to find their mark in brutal fashion. Along with the obligatory circle pit, fans are encouraged to crowdsurf and stage dive as the Trash Talk triathlon proves popular in the Second City.

Tonight’s set is a short one, even with the misleadingly long set list, yet it is a captivating one all the same. The truth is, not many bands can put on a show like Trash Talk’s, a fact that stewards around the country can only be relieved about.