Review: Basement blast out the hits to perfection at Craufurd Arms gig

Picture: David Jackson
Picture: David Jackson

It’s that time of year when bands are travelling the length and breadth of the country as part of festival season and while Ipswich emo revivalists Basement are also on their own UK tour, they found time between appearances at last weekend’s Reading and Leeds Festivals to play a sold-out show at the Craufurd Arms.

In their decade together (ignoring a brief hiatus), Basement have released four albums, their most recent being last year’s Beside Myself.

Picture: David Jackson

Picture: David Jackson

Their headline set in Milton Keynes was an almost textbook example of both band and venue doing everything to perfection.

A packed room, no barrier, an electric atmosphere, a fantastic opening set by Honey Lung and then a sold 50 minutes by Basement who blasted out hit after hit before departing.

No encore, no filler and equally as important, a room full of fans dead-set on enjoying themselves, who sang back virtually every word, arms aloft, rather than standing motionless filming on their phones.

As a genre, emo became the butt of jokes almost as quickly as it went mainstream in the early 2000s – morphing into something virtually unrecognisable from the bands which gave it its underground popularity in the mid to late 90s.

Thankfully, Basement - with their mix of alternative rock, melodic punk and grunge - have helped give the genre a much-needed reset, returning it to its origins in sound and looks.

The band’s Craufurd set leant towards their heavier, rocker material and saw them open with Whole followed by Nothing Left from their latest record.

Fans burst into life at the sound of the opening harmonics of Aquasun and while Earl Grey slowed the pace down a bit, the track itself exploded into life mid-way through.

There was little chat between songs, with singer Andrew Fisher only really pausing to say hello mid-way through proceedings.

Other highlights of their set included the Besides Myself opener Disconnect and the final run in of Covet and Promise Everything.

All in all, emo done right by one the UK’s best alternative bands.