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LIVE: Pest Control – The Exchange, Bristol, 24/02/2024

New discoveries are always exciting, which is exactly what Leeds-based DIY thrash band Pest Control were to me this time last year. Having just released their debut album Don’t Test The Pest, the band made a sizeable impression on me, and the album was certainly one of my favourites of the year. Naturally then, with the band embarking on their first ever UK headliner run, it only made sense that I find myself crammed into a sold out room in The Exchange in Bristol on a rather wet and windy Saturday night.

Kicking off their set with their self-titled track from their first demo release, the band very quickly established an energy in the room that few other bands of a similar stature are able to do. Vocalist Leah Hassey-May has a commanding stage presence, stomping and leaping back and forth across the stage, with much of the front quarter of the crowd taking this as an invite to do the same down below.

Then came the first tracks from the band’s debut album, with the likes of ‘Masquerade Party’, and ‘Struck Down’ helping to rile the crowd up even further, and often with the lyrics thrown back to the band as loudly as they were sang to the crowd in the first place. ‘Enjoy The Show’, ‘Infestation’, and fan-favourite ‘Buggin’ Out’ were all featured in the all-killer, no-filler setlist, as was the unreleased track ‘The Wasp’, which was met with a great reception, despite the lack of familiarity from the crowd.

The final run of songs consisted of the immense ‘Don’t Test The Pest’, which featured an impressive amount of the crowd pile-on to one another for mic grabs, ‘Great Deceiver’, and an encore of ‘Total Distraction’, and ‘Judgement Time’. An encore frantic enough that included all of the moshing, stage-diving, and all-round frantic energy that a room that size could contain.

So, just over a year on from their debut release, it seems that Pest Control have quickly consolidated on what has been a massive release from them and have very clearly got the stage presence to match. Not only does it seem that everyone has the Pest Control bug, but that they’re going to be infesting our venues and ears for many more years to come.

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.