Underground rock revivalists, The Orwells, hurled the iconic 100 Club into a whirlpool of anarchic stage invasions and Rock & Roll debauchery earlier this week.

The 100 Club has played the important role of hosting some of the most memorable gigs in the hallmark of music history. The Sex Pistols’ revolutionary performance in 1976 galvanized the punk movement, embracing the misfits and outsiders who repelled and defied the dispiriting Thatcher system. The venue’s history is immersed in punk, and the décor has remained the same since the 1970s. Its illustrious past swells up and permeates through the basement floor. In such an environment pressure can easily mount upon a band, however The Orwells swaggered on stage, shrouded with confidence, and immediately set the bar high by kicking the night off with their critically acclaimed single Other Voices. With a bottle of red in Mario’s (the frontman) hand, he sung in his raspy vocals, ‘I’m tripping in, and you’re tripping out, and that’s what night time’s all about’ and set the tone for the somewhat proceeding anarchy that followed.

The band didn’t reserve their best material until last, and delved straight into their most distinctive, in your face, raucous Rock & Roll single, The Righteous One. Overlaid with hazy distorted guitars and a catchy chorus encapsulating that staple apathetic notion of punk-rock, it sends the crowd into a riotous frenzy. It’s around this point, that Mario picks up an Austin Texas NME poster and shoves it down his pants, which was shortly pulled out by a clearly devoted, if not slightly delirious fan. The band also performed some new material which ceased to dampen the atmosphere and was embraced by the zealous crowd. Halloween All Year was enthusiastically received by the audience, with one particular Orwells fan persistently besieging the stage to the frustrated dismay of an increasingly intolerant bouncer. The band then performed a brief cover of The Foundations Build Me Up Buttercup which definitely won over the older members of the audience and induced a rowdy sing-a-long. As the set went on, more and more red wine bombarded Mario’s blood stream, and the night continued to get even more wild and wayward.

…they offer a refreshing and original alternative…

In the encore, the Chicago quartet performed a cover of The Stooges I Wanna Be Your Dog to which Mario played up to his Iggy-pop worthy style. It was everything punk rock is supposed to be, raw, unrefined and unapologetically shambolic. Defying the whiny and stale pop-punk nature of most American bands in the music world, they offer a refreshing and original alternative. Towards the end of the set, Mario picked up a female stage-invader and engaged in a lingering kiss, to which the crowd applauded and cheered. A little seedy? Definitely. Do you think he cares? Absolutely not. It cemented what was a night of alcohol-fuelled, sweat infested, and insubordinate debauchery. Such an intimate venue like the 100 Club was the perfect venue for a band like The Orwells, who, like bands such as The Libertines, pride themselves in dismantling the barrier between the band and the fans. More importantly, it confirmed Alex Turner’s polemical stance on the illustrious clutches of Rock & Roll to be ubiquitously true. That Rock & Roll, eh? It just won’t go away…



About The Author

Currently studying history at Royal Holloway, University of London. Music lover, and regular gig attendee. I'll be keeping you up to date with the albums you need to hear, and the gigs you should have been at.

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