Touché Amore + Self Defense Family – Rock City, Nottingham – December 8

Touché Amore arrived in Nottingham with a reputation at odds with their forthcoming performance. Like fellow screamo revivalists La Dispute, the savage punch and swagger of their recorded sound is rarely replicated on stage. It’s replaced by a group of very likable nerds who seem incredibly grateful to be taken seriously and a little gobsmacked by the whole experience.

Their support was Self Defense Family, another act who, refreshingly, fall outside of the stereotyped image for their genre. Their sound is Dischord Records through and through, with hoarse vocals, layered three-guitar attacks and jarring, unpredictable structure. Led by dry, witty vocalist Patrick Kindlon, the five-piece couldn’t look more mis-matched, and they gelled wonderfully. Kindlon roared at the astonished audience over crashing, immersive hooks.

As for Touché Amore, they did well, and the first paragraph wasn’t a criticism as such. Their performance was earnest and passionate, and while it may not have been aggressive it was far from meek. There’s no reason why this band should have to be edgy or even angry. Maybe it was just that they lacked the danger factor that gives bands that dark side or mystery which keeps you intrigued and interested. Nevertheless, songs such as Method Act and Gravity Metaphorically soared across the acoustically poor Rock City basement room, and the cuts from latest release Is Survived By sounded strong and accomplished.

If anything is going to hold them back it may be the slightly samey, one dimensional nature of their output. They share the heart but lack the spark of the likes of Thursday, Orchid and Poison The Well. Their legion of devotees will tell you otherwise though, and for many this was a chance to worship a band quickly achieving significant status.

– AP

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One Response to Touché Amore + Self Defense Family – Rock City, Nottingham – December 8

  1. topherknowles says:

    Whilst I sort of get your point about Touché Amores live shows it sounds like you’ve misunderstood what the band is about if you want danger from them.

    I’ve never been disappointed by their sets and the performances reflect exactly what I hear on record. They never claimed to be The Dillinger Escape Plan, not would I want them to try.

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