Updated: Feb 5
As the iconic venue, The Leadmill, in Sheffield speedily filled with a largely teenage audience ready to witness Rat Boy give them something memorable, the three piece punk band, Touts, from Ireland warmed the audience up with something rather unexpected. What looked to be three average men with incredibly strong Irish accents delivered a set that got the crowd moving within the first song - a feat not often met by the support slots. The rage filled and politically charged trio came in full swing and displayed nothing but non stop noise with songs including Bombscare, a anger fuelled track about the real fears of bombings and terrorist attacks in a Western society. The bleak realism of their lyrics content did far from get anyone down, if anything it simply empowered the listeners and allowed them to have a stronger connection to the band’s set and message.
Brilliantly, with only a small part of the evening being dedicated especially to them, they managed to wrap the audience right around their little fingers so easily. Yes, the musical inspirations that they channel may differ considerably to that of the main act of the evening, yet, it did not stop them from giving everyone a taste of The Clash in the 21st century. If you can throw yourself around to it and pick the chorus and message up rather quickly it's set to go down a storm, which it most definitely did.
The memorable grit they held within their lyrics and sound exceeds their mismatched aesthetic of a self confessed Mod, as well as, in their own words, a drummer who cannot see properly and a bassist who can’t really play bass (Their words, not mine!).
Admittedly, I did question the band’s look as they quickly introduced themselves but as soon as they threw themselves into the music they seemed so happy to play, it did not matter at all. Impressively, they ploughed through at least 6 songs without truly stopping to say much other than cheers-ing to Rat Boy for having them on the tour, which just shows how the three of them were really just there to play their punk-infused rock music to as many people as possible.
After blasting through the short but sweet tune that is Political People they the stage left with smiles on their faces and had the audience feeling more electric than ever.
Article By Erin Harrison