Live Review: Phoxjaw & Blue Stragglers | Signature Brewery, London | 20/05/21

Photo Credit: Gian Marco

After an excruciating last year of what seems like never ending pain in everyone’s lives, for those who rely on live shows as a release from daily life we have missed it all too much. For the bands, crew, venue staff and many more behind the scenes their livelihoods have been taken away with little or no support from the Government. So it is a huge relief to start to see tours and shows come back in some form. Signature Brewery being one venue managing to keep some semblance of sanity to a lucky handful of bands and fans between lockdowns hosting gigs outside their brewery in North London. The likes of Jamie Lenman and Jaws The Shark taking the stage amongst flowing taps of top quality beer.

Related: Phoxjaw - Royal Swan | Album Review

And oh did the beer flow for Phoxjaw’s return for what felt like a step towards normality. People who live and breathe music travelling from as far as Brighton up to see one of the finest slices of Bristol’s scene. A palpable buzz as friends old and new elbow bumped and reminisced over ye olden days of 2019. Smiles all round despite the threatening wind and looming clouds which luckily didn’t break to dampen spirits.

The one support came from Sussex trio, Blue Stragglers (8). Smashing through a selection of their fuzz laden grooves including tracks from last year’s self titled EP. The trio warming the crowd up nicely with a loud and high energy set. The sensation of the hum of amps and the crack of a snare building the anticipation for the seemingly ever delayed album launch set from Phoxjaw (9).

And with absolute no surprise at all the quartet (now accompanied by a new keyboardist) hurled everything at the eager crowd. Smashing through the majority of last year’s top drawer album Royal Swan. Opening as the album does with ‘Charging Pale Horses’ this young cohort bringing the anxiety and to the top of everyone’s gut before bursting into weighty riffs of ‘You Don’t Drink a Unicorn’s Blood’. The sound slapping grins on every face in the crowd. Everyone soul in the crowd brought back to their happy place.

Unrelenting, Phoxjaw tear through the majority of their highly rated album Royal Swan showing their energy but already honed songwriting and live performance. Reiterating why they are one of the spiciest slices in the U.K. scene.

As they give the attentive audience a last lightning bolt to the system with ‘Trophies in the Attic’ the band showed their chutzpah, drum kit toppling, guitars cast aside, the onlookers rightfully so giving the band deserved praise. The electricity in the air continued into the night as punters shared many beers before heading off into the night.

It’s good to have you back live music. Thank you Phoxjaw, thank you Signature Brewery.

Royal Swan is out now via Hassle Records.

Purchase the record here.