Alex Andrews is an unashamed fanboy of Our Time Down Here – so much so that when they announced they were playing three shows in London as part of their final, farewell tour, he went along to all three. Three shows, two days, one review. Done.
6 things we learned watching Our Time Down Here 3 times in 2 days London…
1) Our Time Down Here confess to feeling more nervous about their Saturday afternoon session in Kingston’s Banquet Records than the whole of their final tour put together. With no amps or microphones and 30-odd people gawping back at you, re-imagining songs written with sing-a-longs and stage dives in mind is a daunting task. Still, it’s a nice idea, even if things do start off a little bit ‘Kumbaya’.
2) Although he’ll go on to recycle the same songs and stories across town at the Fighting Cock, the intimate setting lets the songs of The Lion And The Wolf, aka London’s Tom George, to air much better than in a dingy bar. OTDH do a better job still, with the volume of the small crowd’s makeshift backing vocals rising from one song to the next. The stripped back songs – including a cover of Alkaline Trio’s ‘Blue In The Face’ – allow for Will Gould’s well-controlled croon to shine and they combat the ominous silence between songs with some comedy gold.
Watch Our Time Down here cover ‘Blue In The Face’ by Alkaline Trio:
3) Having proved his pipes at the in-store, it’s great to hear Gould’s vocals sounding so strong through the PA at The Fighting Cock and again at the Barfly. Previously, he’s either struggled to execute some of the more ambitious melodies or the band have looked out of place on whatever bill they’ve found themselves on. Dressed as always in jet black attire, they sound well-rehearsed and confident on both nights and excel as rightful headliners.
4) Older songs like ‘Revelations’ and ‘Four And Ghost’ get a rowdy reception and remind us of the hardcore band they once were. At the smaller – and much sweatier – Fighting Cocks, the band come out of the blocks with particular venom and all but melt the room. ‘Tony And The Gang’ gets a rare airing, with Gould singing: “If this is the last time we sing together know that I don’t regret a single line, I meant every word.” Fitting.
Watch the video to ‘Black Ice & Bad Advice’ by Our Time Down Here:
5) For an album full of such perfectly assembled pop-punk songs, Midnight Mass didn’t quite galvanise the UK underground in the way the band might have hoped. It’s a shame that it’s taken a farewell tour to get people out of the woodwork and singing along, but it’s certainly better late than never.
6) What stings the most about OTDH’s break-up is that they join a list of casualties that includes the likes of Basement, Kerouac and The Long Haul from the past year alone. Worse still is the shower of shit that rained down on the UK only the week before in the shape of Slam Dunk’s travelling pop-punk circus. There’s a cocktail of reasons behind every band’s break-up, but you have to wonder: had OTDH attracted half as much as hype as some of their lesser peers, or had they came from somewhere other than Southampton, perhaps they’d have been the ones playing Slam Dunk rather than saying their goodbyes? Either way, the reunion shows can’t come soon enough.