Tunbridge Well’s finest chaos makers returned to Sheffield, to do what they do best: wreak havoc. The 2,350 capacity Academy is a far cry from the 200-capped bar/hotel The Harley where Slaves’ last visited during the ‘Back in the Van’ tour.
Despite the larger crowd, the duo still deliver intimacy as part of the performance, assuming their distaste towards members of the balcony stand was just tongue-in-cheek chit-chat. Opener ‘Sockets’ set the mood for the evening, diving head-first into punk bedlam. The brief yet much needed interludes showcase why Slaves are such a first-class live act. The chemistry between Laurie and Isaac is unmatched, their brief discussion about the wonders of David Attenborough for example makes you feel automatically acquainted with the pair.
They swiftly performed a string of lesser-known songs from the latest album Take Control, which the majority of the audience were familiar with. During their time on stage, a multitude of objects were thrown ranging from a bra to a Furby, which they took in their stride, as though it happens every day; which it probably does now the pair are so acknowledged. Their rapid rise to success is reflected in ‘People That You Meet’ as Isaac spits, “He used to be a Beastie Boy, but now he works for me” referring to ‘Mike D’ who produced Take Control.
Like most predators from Attenborough’s Planet Earth, Slaves are currently at the top of food chain. The two jesters of punk may display a frenzied circus performance live, but aptly closing with ‘The Hunter’, the duo are well aware of their dominating position in the genre.
Words by Will Fisher. Photos by Ethan Weatherby.