Monday, May 23, 2011


"There's two guys here wearing the same Supreme shirt", says Black Lungs frontman Wade MacNeil in designer Wellington boots and a Captain Haddock beard. "How bummed are they?" he asks... "Fucking bummed!"

For a Canadian, MacNeil's done his homework. And in-between songs he talks about everything from Shoreditch fashion and Coronation Street to Cyberdog, Camden; "The label sprang for a whole new wardrobe."

The stage is a sea of upside crosses. Black Lungs are an intense live act. Bassist Phil Waring headbutts the wall and rolls around the floor on his back. Drummer George Clark scowls in a Venom t-shirt. Guitarist Patrick Mathers steps on photographers with gammy Ramones legs. And Wade MacNeil breathes fire into 30 second punk-rock power ballads. Black Lungs' sound is take-no-prisoners punk rock with a Napoleon complex.

I still can't believe I missed Gallows' secret 'special guest' performance. In my experience, when they say 8:00pm doors at Old Blue Last you can expect things to kick off around 10:00pm if you're lucky. Unless it's Monday, it seems... Then you miss everything. Still, Black Lungs make up for it with their short, feral bursts of Minor Threat, Black Flag, Cancer Bats-inspired punk rock.

Near the end, MacNeil calls Gallows' ginger nutter Frank Carter Frank Turner. "I called you Frank Turner... I don't know why I did that. Frank, if you're here, I'd pick Frank Carter in a battle of the Franks any day"...

Black Lungs' split with fellow Canadians Cancer Bats is out now...

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