What was this?
The Old Blue Last sits on a catty corner, large and inviting. The pub plays host to a disparate gathering of people – the first floor, a dedicated bar space is generally filled by late-20-somethings enjoying one too many after work. The upstairs space, a dedicated music venue, was filled to the brim with punks, congregated to see Gnarwolves – one of the last vestiges of hope for the indie punk genre.
What was it like?
Packed to the brim with people, the sold out crowd was already raring to go by the time Gnarwolves took the stage. Behind them hung a tie-dyed bed sheet with their name scrawled in big letters. The crowd goers were obviously dedicated fans as within the first second the audience was singing the word back to the band, overwhelming them. Meanwhile, crowd surfing started almost instantly. One song flowed easily into the next, in short bursts of expertly crafted punk rock. When Gnarwolves debuted a new song, the crowd went quiet and while the violent fervour waned slightly as most were paying close attention to the new material.
The band interacted perfectly with the audience, addressing them just enough without wasting their precious time on stage. The trio were a hodgepodge in appearance, but as a musical ensemble their sound was exceptionally tight. Swept up in the manic energy, the gig flew by. At the last song, a mosh pit broke out but in true punk spirit – no one was hurt and if someone fell they were quickly helped up. By the time it was over, one felt both exhausted and invigorated, and the hordes of punks flooded the lower level with exaltation and the kind of energy that can only come from a perfect punk gig.
What’s the final verdict?
The Old Blue Last’s upstairs venue is perfect for a punk show, and Gnarwolves made the most of their space. Their sound was wholly perfect in the small dimly lit venue, and not a beat was out of sync. The only downside was, with constant stage diving, gig-goers often overtook the stage (a fault of the venue, not the band). All in all, Gnarwolves put on a fantastic punk show, the kind that makes you never want to listen to another band again.