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Live Review: La Dispute, Le Pre Ou Je Suis Mort, Maths and History, The Chantry, Canterbury - 22/06/10

This show puzzled a few. If you had a band who have seen their popularity sky rocket in the last few months purely on the back of word-of-mouth and a few choice tours with the likes of Alexisonfire and Trash Talk and were booking them their first run of shows in the UK where would have them play? London naturally, Manchester perhaps and at least a date in Wales and Scotland. I doubt a last minute show in Basingstoke followed by Leeds ending in a Canterbury floor show in venue that looks like the Phoenix Club would be your route of choice. However this is the position La Dispute have found themselves in at the tail end of their debut European trip and it is to the bands credit that they have managed to pull a sizeable and, for some, well-travelled crowd.

Derby’s History definitely fall into the well-travelled camp and as they open the show it’s clear how big a group of La Dispute fans they are. This is not to label them as entirely derivative as they pedal a fine line in atmospheric hardcore that swells and subsides in a similar vein to the headliners. Next up were Holy Roar’s screamo staples Maths who’s technically impressive performance, airing cuts from last years debut full-length ‘Descent’, seemed slightly lost on the static crowd.

Swiss Le Pre Ou Je Suis Mort would have been new to the majority of the crowd but they managed to win a fair few over with their crushing but slightly over-long screamo inspired-post rock. Language barriers limit between song banter but to be honest when a bands final song is 15 minutes long the crowd hardly craves knob gags.

The atmosphere in the Chantry tangibly changes as La Dispute set up. When they take the stage it takes all of half a song for the crowd to go absolutely bat shit. Opening with ‘Such Small Hands’ straight into ‘Said The King To The River’ the set list is mainly taken from last full length ‘Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair’ but they air a new song off a yet to be released split with Touche Amore. Vocalist Jordan stomps barefoot around the venue and despite the highly complex lyrics that have become La Disputes trademark the crowd scream along with his every word.

These types of shows are where La Dispute cut their teeth. They are ferocious but exercise that ferocity with control and restraint so that the energy never lulls. Considering La Disputes upward trajectory this will no doubt be one of those shows where the amount of people who said they were there would fill an arena but for those of us who were there we witnessed something truly special.

Barney Dufton

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