Gig Guide: Bands You Need to See in May

One week in and May has already proved itself as a killer month with a new release from Gnarwolves and the news that Lightyear are permanently reforming (yes, I did just wet myself a little).

We’ve also been blessed with a flurry of pre/post-Groezrock shows from international headliners like Deftones, Choking Victim and Thrice, although there were a few notable absences (Red City Radio have some serious explaining to do).

The summer season is just kicking in so there’s plenty to look forward to: pre-drinking in parks rather than over-priced bars, getting blinded by sunlight when emerging for a cigarette between bands, and your sweat-and-beer-soaked shirt not immediately turning to ice on the walk home.

Here are the gigs you don’t want to miss in May:


I cannot tell you how stoked I am to see Gnarwolves again. You’d be hard-pressed to find a lovelier bunch of smiling lads playing such fast, gritty and riff-laden skate punk. Bottle to Bottle is my go-to shower ballad, so I’ll be relishing the opportunity to show off all my hard practice in a jumble of sweaty, bouncing strangers.

May 5th sees the release of their 2nd full-length album Outsiders. I’m two listens in so far and it’s already made my albums-of-the-year list, so I can’t wait to hear the new material live. They’re embarking on a stretch of UK dates on May 8th, hitting most of the top spots before finishing off at The Borderline in London on May 20th. If you’re in London, I’d recommend enduring the long ride down to Kingston to catch them at the Fighting Cocks on May 15th – it’s the perfect sweatbox venue for this band.

Support comes from Kamikaze Girls, THROWNUPS, Rough Hands and Brvce Willis.

Tickets here:



Fresh from a mini-tour in April, Snuff are indulging Londoners with a two-night stint at the Underworld on May 19th and 20th called Camden Double Bubble. This promises two different sets featuring all your Snuff favourites, a smattering of quintessentially British covers (Black Beauty Theme, anyone?) and the best droll, between-song banter available.

Friday supports are Brummie riot-grrl noise punkers Youth Man and Not Tonight & The Headaches who knock out clean, sunny Grimsby-via-California pop punk in the style of Jimmy Eat World, Descendents and The Ergs!

Saturday’s lucky audience will be treated to the jaw-dropping combo of Consumed and Pizzatramp – to my mind the pioneers of riff-heavy, melodic UK skate punk alongside the new stars of the scene. It’s probably a good thing I can only go to the Friday show, otherwise I’d be risking a joy-induced aneurysm.

Make sure you get in early: weekend shows at The Underworld have a frustrating tendency to start at 6pm so they can shoehorn in a club night afterwards. On the upside, you’ll have time afterwards to grab a pint and discuss the logistics of storing a fart in a jar.


Hopefully we’ll get plenty of this:


Jeff Rosenstock

Since Jeff released Worry last October, I’ve been constantly checking for UK tour updates, desperate for it to roll around as soon as possible. His third solo album is an emotional journey, teeming with bittersweet, poppy hooks and upliftingly chaotic arrangements, all held together by his anxious, self-deprecating humour. He’s doing a run of dates in the UK, including London Underworld on May 23rd.

There’s no doubt he’ll be mixing up new material with plenty of bangers from 2015’s We Cool? and 2012’s I Look Like Shit, plus select covers and throwbacks to old projects, including Bomb The Music Industry! and The Arrogant Sons of Bitches. A major advantage of being a consistently prolific musician with a DIY spirit is having a huge repertoire to delve into.

Support comes from Shit Present front-woman Iona Cairns, melodic pop-punkers Triple Sundae and Doe. I’m particularly excited for Doe as it will be my first time seeing them, despite loving their Pixies-ish mix of anger, harmony and melody.



Forever Unclean

This skate-indie-punk trio from Copenhagen are coming over for a jaunt around the UK this month, starting in Canterbury on May 9th, looping through Scotland and the North and finishing off in Bristol on May 18th. I’ll be catching them in Ipswich on Wednesday 10th, but there’s a London show on the 17th if you happen not to live in the arse end of the East.

Born from the ashes of Stars Burn Stripes, these guys have been touring excessively since early 2015. They just released new EP Float in March: a brilliant slice of rough ‘n’ ready pop punk out on Make That A Take Records. Think low-budget Descendents with a raw Gnarwolves-style vocal and a few ounces of PUP thrashery thrown in for good measure. In short, it’s really fucking good.

They’re playing with varied support around the country – in Ipswich it’s skate-punkers Resuscitators and hardcore locals Con-Party. London’s got The Run Up, On A Hiding To Nothing, Cereal Box Heroes and Fastfade. All shows are offering top value for money, so you’ve got no excuses not to go.

Also, this video is genuinely hilarious:

I’ll see you down the front.

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