A few years back, I find myself in a full room mosh pit in Manchester’s Soup Kitchen. The band playing have ditched playing on stage. Instead they form themselves in the middle of the mosh pit. 200 cans of red stripe are dropped from the sweaty palms of skinheads (fully kitted out in suspenders and colour laced dr martens) at this unusual band reaction. It is like 1977 all over again (and I wasn’t even alive then).
Today I make the argument that this band, Lady Bird are the most underrated band in the UK right now. So underrated that they out-staged Idles, who I saw the next day at The Albert Hall. Take note, this was arguably in their prime (Joy As An Act Of Resistance tour). I talk to label workers about the bands we are really excited about. Quite commonly we agree on our choices, but no one seems to have heard of Lady Bird. Surprising to me. This is the reason they are my Introducing today, despite being around for a few years now.
Shades of Mike Skinner in his prime casually flow into frontman Sam Cox’s socially aware lyrics. Whether that’s in ‘Spoons’; a dedication to the British victuals chain, or in Reprisal; a chalk talk about the tug of war relationship between the British law setters and the public. The relatability puts them up there with any great punk outfit right now.
Instrumentally their influences melt into a pot of dirty, uncompromising punk. Raising eyebrows in great ways. Along the way, ‘Got Lucky’ almost sounds like a grime song. A British version of Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’ if you will. For the older demographic, ‘Social Potions’ sounds like a track that shouldn’t have been left off Wire’s seminal ‘Pink Flag’ album but was in a bad marketing decision. ‘Boot Fillers’ on the other side of the fence has a sing along, almost football anthem quality to it. If this was the 1998 world cup, maybe they’d have a top 40 hit.
Although a few mishaps have occurred (their song ‘Love’ admittedly sounds a bit like a McFly song), that is rare. The group have got back on their feet with their newest E.P. A corker of a project. I have every hope that more attention will come Lady Bird’s way. Like their friends Slaves, who signed them to a personal indie label, they put on a cracking live show. I highly recommend watching the trio live when we are allowed to go to gigs again.
Key Track: Reprisal – with memorable organ work and politically active lyrics, this rekindles a spirit akin to 1978 crossover between Punk and New Wave.