Astroid Boys w/Sonny Double 1/ Mace & Manga Saint Hilare @ Clwb Ifor Bach - Cardiff 27/9/17

Sonny Double 1 [6] takes to the stage with confidence, inciting the crowd in to his first track, “Too late to turn” he’s undercut by poor sound. He tries harder coming off close to aggressive; the sound drops out. Sonny doesn’t miss a beat and continues without, the crowd join him almost instantly.

Weirdly this obstacle seems to have given him more stage presence instead of less, beyond that it sort of sums up what tonight has been about. Coming out of the corner together and swinging. Traxx of Astroid Boys stands behind the desks hyping the crowd on Sonny and the entire atmosphere is set now for the night.

The upstairs of Clwb Ifor Bach is well and truly in full swing with thanks to Sonny Double 1. Traxx takes to the mic introducing Mace [5] to the stage joining him in performance of his opening track straight in to 'Fresh Prince'. The feel to this show is that of a hype machine, with members of Society of Alumni and Astroid Boys stirring the crowd in to Mace’s performance with selfies and snapchats from the stage. The audience clamour to be seen, to be involved in this experience.

Photo Credit: Theodore Swaddling

Before the main act of the night takes to the stage the audience are graced by Manga Saint-Hilare [7]. He sets himself apart tonight, showing experience in puncturing a vibe and engaging an audience despite the now crowded stage. Echoing the mantra of the evening Manga announces “Remember we’re here for BROKE!” showing the genuine excitement and unity in this bill.

The difference in crowd reaction before Astroid Boys [8] start their set, and after is measurable in two ways, one: It’s louder, two: there’s a moshpit now. Opening with a pre-release track from the upcoming album Dirt, it’s a hard-hitter. The abundance of fans over frothing the stage know the songs, new or not, a testament to the bands promotion ethics. The energy is palpable, evidenced further by yet another chant for Sonny Double 1 whom joins the band on stage as Traxx introduces 'Foreigners'. The audience drive behind them entirely during the chorus, creating huge pits and ending in more crowd cannons.

Photo Credit: Theodore Swaddling

Astroid Boys are at home on the stage, so much so they welcome the crowd to join them, as audience members clamber to the ceiling in a ravaged excitement. For a cross-genre band they steer in to the required boldness to know that their audience wants: rock, rap, grime, but most of all hype. Perhaps not in equal amounts, but enough to leave everyone rabid. Crowd favourite 'Dusted' isn’t the only look back at their journey to tonight that the band take. Traxx takes time during the set to share the story of Astroid Boys, offering anecdotes of how the band started with shout outs to DJ Comfort and telling of how they recruited their vastly under celebrated drummer Big H.

Tonight is a show party, by every sense of the word and everyone is invited. Revellers dangle upside down from the ceiling, bodies swarm over each other crowd surfing and everyone is having fun. Act’s like Astroid Boys only come along so often, balancing genuine fun with high energy and the humility shown in honouring fan cries for “Rinsa” and other tracks from the bands past. Astroid Boys might be the arrow head of this movement, but make no mistake they intend to bring the entire quiver with them.