Strolling back into Newcastle, four months after supporting punk legends NOFX at the Academy, Toronto’s The Flatliners are, instead, playing in the small intimate setting of the newly revamped Trillians, on this dreary Monday night.
Starting the night off are the charismatic chaps of Mike TV injecting their dosage of fun and fast-paced Dookie-esque stripped-down pop-punk and engaging those in attendance with their humorous banter; an impressively tight performance considering this is their first tour with new drummer Glyn Mellor. Playing a firecracker of a set, evident by the exploding guitar amp, guitarist Lorraine Quiche amusingly raps his own rendition of Will Smith’s Wild Wild West, while technical issues are being resolved. A losing battle to the blown-up amp and making the most of a bad situation, Jhon Cosgrove gives up his guitar duties for one final tune, performing comical dance routines on stage and running around manically on the floor delivering high fives and hugs for all, leaving smiles on the faces of all those watching.
Finally, The Flatliners take to the stage to unleash their gritty ska-punk concoction, opening with the anthemic Mother Teresa Chokeslams The World. A set mostly comprising of tracks from The Great Awake including July! August! Reno! and Meanwhile, In Hell…, with the dub-influenced This Respirator managing to score a few people on the dance floor, as well as lobbing in a couple of oldies and more ska-flavoured tunes such as ScumPunch! and Do or Die, for good measure, to keep the few singing word-for-word content.
Remaining tactful, as a drunkard in the crowd showcases some endearing Geordie hospitality by repeatedly and embarrassingly shouting “Yankee cunts!” to the Canadian four-piece, who eventually invite said idiot to the front. He, of course, declines and scuttles back, and they continue with the rest of their set, throwing a new tune, from their forthcoming and untitled third full-length, into the mix, all sounding very promising.
It is somewhat of a juxtaposition seeing frontman Chris Cresswell belt out his signature gruff voice that oddly just does not match his youth, as he manages to hit all the right notes and is on top form, as well as the rest of the band, performing with so much vigour to a far from packed room.
With a strict curfew to abide by, two last songs are squeezed in, including old favourite Fred’s Got Slacks with Cresswell unbelievably spitting out the lyrics even faster than usual. Ending the night with Eulogy proves popular with those familiar dancing and merrily singing along with beers in the air, and as this gig was astonishingly free of charge, I’m positive that those who weren’t familiar beforehand will be more than willing to part ways with their cash the next time The Flatliners are in town after this fantastic performance.
To read our interview with The Flatliners from back in April, click HERE.