The Chapman Family @ Green Door Store 18/02/13
There’s one question I always ask myself everyone time I watch The Chapman Family live. Why the fuck hasn’t this band hit the mainstream yet? With their brand of moody gothic-rock it seemed natural that the band would follow in the path of success that The Horrors had created. Yet with an album and a fantastic EP behind them I’m stood here in Green Door Store watching the band play to just a handful of people yet again on a freezing Monday night.
Warming the audience up with their opening track ‘A Certain Degree‘ from debut album ‘Burn Your Town‘, the band then quickly turn to smashing us all in the face with shouty, sweary, but epic new song ‘Into The Breach‘. It dawned on me pretty quickly that I’d forgotten my ear plugs, and that my head was rattling, and I was pretty sure it was going to get blown off. People started to brush past me to hastily leave the room, quickly returning with free earplugs shoved firmly into their orifices. The Chapman Family aren’t loud for the sake of being loud, nor do they purposely try to destroy your ear drums. Quite the contrary, their music is ferocious and angry, and the intensity of the volume is just another extension of this. You just need to be prepared for it.
The Chapman Family are a band of few words as they power through songs, blending one into another, though they do come up for air to tell us “Yesterday we were in Margate and it was fucking shit, you win the battle of best seaside town…No wait, Southampton s’alright.” Thanks guys, we’re feeling the love.
Last years EP ‘Cruel Britannia‘ received higher acclaim from critics than that of their album – hopefully a sign of things to come. Though tonight they only play two songs from this – ‘No More Tears‘ and ‘Summer Song‘, but the growth in strength between these songs and that from their album are clear. Singer Kingsley interchanges between sweet melodic singing, to hissing, spitting and screaming like a man who has just snapped. Though on this occasion I think I was pleased to see there were no more antics of Kingsley slowly wrapping a microphone lead around his neck; nothing like a bit of strangulation tension.
Tasters of new material are intertwined in the set tonight, including latest release ‘Adult‘ (free to download, don’t you know), ‘Festival‘, and next single ‘This One’s For Love‘ from their upcoming second album to be released in May. Of course, the new songs are as moody and brooding as ever and naturally it’s all wonderful stuff, a great preview of what we’re to expect in the next couple of months.
I have great hopes for The Chapman Family’s next album, and their success is long overdue. As one of the best live bands in the country they are a tension-fuelled and angry beast, and a future of deafening audiences in packed out venues is what should be awaiting them. Please make it so Great Britain.