Review: Milk Teeth at Camden Underworld, London

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Milk Teeth's landmark show at Camden's basement venue made for an exciting and fast-paced night from start to finish.

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British punk rockers Milk Teeth played an explosive sold-out set at London’s Underworld on Friday the 23rd of March as part of their Go Away tour.

The iconic basement venue in the famously alternative and artsy borough of Camden was the perfect setting for the night. A crowd of 500 people greeted the opening acts Nervus and Fangclub with genuine enthusiasm which was matched by the effort and strong performances of both bands. By the time Milk Teeth came on at 9pm, there was a real buzz of excitement and anticipation.

Milk Teeth opened their set with a track from their recent EP Go Away, ‘Nearby Catfight’, and the crowd took no time to respond to the intensity of their performance. Although there had been mosh pits earlier in the night, no one was anywhere close to tired, and the crowd exploded into perfect chaos. Crowdsurfers and stagedivers were relentless, uncontained by a barrierless stage. As the band flowed into older tracks such as ‘Burger Drop’, they maintained their command of the crowd, playing each song so fiercely that it was easy to forget their recently intense touring schedule.

Milk Teeth are a band who have garnered a following that is a cross-section of the alternative scene. Their influences include grunge, punk, and hardcore, which makes for an interestingly mixed crowd in terms of music preference, gender, and age. But everyone was united in the desire for good, punk rock fun, making the atmosphere intense but upbeat and friendly. As the band tore through songs like ‘Brain Food’ and ‘I Stabbed You First’, the energy and spirit of the night was definitely kept up.

Fan favourite ‘Swear Jar’ provided an opportunity to whip out lighters and phone torches as the crowd and band had a well-deserved rest. This was followed by ‘Kabuki’ and an acoustic version of older track ‘Melon Blade’. The band remained captivating even when not playing powerful riffs to fast songs, and the atmosphere quickly climaxed again with songs like ‘Vitamins’ and ‘Fight Skirt’. Milk Teeth brought the energy to a head with ‘Wizard Battle’, an old song that they were playing for the final time on this tour. The band had hinted at a surprise during the set, so when drummer Oli Holbrook and guitarist Billy Hutton swapped roles during the song, the crowd erupted with excitement and support. The night concluded as furiously as it had started, with ‘Owning Your Okayness’, leaving both the band and the crowd well and truly worn out by the end. Sweaty, bruised, and still buzzing, fans slowly filed out of the venue and into the cold, wet streets of Camden.

This was a landmark show for Milk Teeth for many reasons. Just three years ago, they played as a support band for Frank Iero and the Celebration in the very same venue, and they have now grown to selling it out themselves. Despite guitarist Chris Webb breaking his ankle just a few days previously, and the inevitable exhaustion of a heavy touring life, Milk Teeth pulled out all the stops for an incredible performance. They are an exciting and important band, with bassist and lead vocalist Becky Blomfield’s voice adding to the much-needed discussion of gender equality in the punk rock scene. The results of her outspokenness are clear in the high number of girls crowdsurfing, getting involved in pits, and generally making themselves very present in the crowd. Milk Teeth are a band that aren’t just producing great music and putting on fantastic performances, but are also using their platform to bring positive changes the scene, making them one of the most important rising bands in British alternative music.

Watch the video for Milk Teeth’s latest release, as part of their EP Go Away, below:

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