Camp Cope, Caves, Live, Do Nothing - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, 29/08/2018 1

Camp Cope, Caves, Live, Do Nothing – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, 29/08/2018

Camp Cope are a three-piece from Melbourne and are just starting out on a hefty 13-date UK tour to showcase their second album How to Socialise & Make Friends.  They have achieved reasonable success in Australia with their debut effort nominated for a multitude of awards and played two sell-out shows at the Sydney Opera House last year.  What a change of scenery it must be then to play to around 100 hundred people on the ground floor of Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach!

Caves side shot

Supported by local Cardiff act Live, Do Nothing and Bristol based Caves both female fronted punk outfits. This really was the modern Riot Grrrl movement coming to Cardiff.

Live, Do nothing started off the evening with a confident performance of pop punk that was well-honed despite having only just put out their first EP. Strong melodies and light vocals that were reminiscent of ’90s bands such as Sleeper and Echobelly. Unfortunately, a lot of the time the lyrics were almost inaudible as the guitar just completely dominated them.

Caves then came out blew everyone away with a high energy performance. Big hair, bigger melodies, and an assertive swagger that has come from playing together for nine years. The trio had an imposing sound with heavy riffs, pounding drums and Lou Hanmans’ vocals which had a real rawness to them, perfect for the crowded and confined room as it gave it a feel of an underground punk club. A real treat.

Finally, it was time for Camp Cope to take to the stage, a brief warm up with a snippet of Green Day’s Warning and off they went, opening the set with one of their most well-known songs, ‘Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams’. The chorus of “The only thing that stops a bad man with a gun, Is a good man with a gun, the lies they use to control you” being sung back by an appreciative and enthusiastic crowd

The dark venue and sound issues probably didn’t help to display the band’s politically charged lyrics and hook-laden songs, as they were completely drowned out by the volume of the guitars. This was a theme all evening with the support acts both Live, Do Nothing and Caves having similar issues. There were signs of the rounded uplifting melodies that have led to comparisons with Courtney Barnett and Juliana Hatfield and in a larger venue with better acoustics they might be even more evident. 

There was a lot of love from the audience who stayed patient with singer and guitarist Georgia “Maq” McDonald who was incredibly anxious between songs and really didn’t want to interact.
 Conversations between band and audience got as far as “we like your castles!”, “Isn’t the internet great, I mean it’s terrible but also great,” and “I wish there were more mics up here so the others could speak.” It was a strange juxtaposition given how the band’s lyrics deal with such tough subjects such as tackling sexism in the music industry, the personal pain of sexual assault, the loss of a parent. However, as soon as the music started again the confidence returned and flowed out of her.

Camp Cope CU

The set was a fairly evenly split between the new album and their eponymous debut, but it was the songs from the latter that really stood out. With ‘Lost (Season One)’ getting the best reaction from the diverse crowd.

Closing with a song titled ‘The Opener’ (deliberately ironic you would assume) they had clearly enthralled the fans who had turned up. Whilst the die-hards lapped up this performance from one of Australia’s most exciting up and coming bands, but sadly for the uninitiated tonight it felt like much of the uniqueness of Camp Cope was lost to the noise.

Images by Nico Power

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.