Trash Talk: The Croft, Bristol – live review

Trash Talk, Failure To Follow, Bats About Bats, Jesse Ventura & Knifeman
Bristol, The Croft
19th June 2012

Trash Talk are currently on a tour across Europe, the midpoint of which was a gig at The Croft in Bristol. We sent along one of our reporters for what turned out to be one hell of a night.

You can always rely on The Croft to get their priorities right. While most of the rest of Bristol’s venues were arsing about with big screens & some football match, last night The Croft had a cracking lineup showcasing a night of frantic hardcore – just what I needed after 17 days away from Bristol in parts of the UK bereft of live music. Indeed, so long had it been since my last gig that my omnipresent ‘Tinnitus’ was a mere shadow of it’s former self & I was beginning to have trouble getting off to sleep it being so weird not having that gentle “hummmmmmmmm” in my head when I go to bed. Something needed to be done about this & that something was Trash Talk.

Having arrived too late to see Bats About Bats my night began with local band Jesse Ventura who pretty much set the tone for the night – one of straight up, full on, extremely competent hardcore played across two rooms to people all totally into the music & definitely not talking amongst themselves, nor pissing around with phones nor even just standing there watching casually. This is participatory music & demonstrating that fact a mini moshpit sprung up towards the end of Jesse Ventura’s set, not a common sight for a fourth support band.

Following Jesse Ventura we all traipsed across into the main room for Failure To Follow – another great Bristol band who also played a great set. They even provided the audience with a body board to play with, one which was naturally leapt upon by the stage divers who (one at a time) dove off the stage with it & were held aloft by the rest of the audience as they tried to fully stand up. As for the music, again it was brilliant, and anyone with an interest in this kind of music, hardcore with a melodic edge, should deffo check out their Bandcamp page some time soon. They’re a young band but one you’re gonna hear a lot more of pretty soon.

Back to the sweaty front room (there’s about a 20 degree temp diff across The Crofts two rooms) for Knifeman, again from Bristol (who said Bristol was all about bass music?) & again another great set of hard & furious hardcore. They set the stage for Trash Talk perfectly. Upon finishing it was, rather ominously, time to carry all the amps over into the main room.

And so to the highlight of the night. Pretty sure I’ve never seen The Croft so full. England match or no England match it wasn’t gonna stop Bristol representing en masse here tonight. There was a fair bit of sound checking as Trash Talk set themselves up. Towards the end of it & as the band were finishing their sound checking with some gentle jamming the lights went down & that was it, the steady stream of stage diving began. The band hadn’t even started playing properly & Lee Spielman, Trash Talk’s frontperson, wasn’t even on the stage yet, but the obviously palpable sense of excitement had become so great that people were stage diving in reaction to the tension in the atmosphere & in what I imagine was an attempt to disperse such tension. At this point I felt a foot on my shoulder & turned round to see Lee walking to the stage from the back of the room over the top of us! It took him a few minutes but he made it, finishing up on top of the stack of amps stage right.

And so it began. What followed was pretty much the closest to mayhem I’ve ever seen at The Croft. Trash Talk’s music lilts between full on fast n furious hardcore mixed with slower, grinding sludgy interludes, but no mater how grinding & sludgy they got it was never going to be slow enough to calm the audience down. During the first song the stage diving was limited to just using the stage but then the focus changed as Lee commented “These amps look like they were made to dive off, who’s going to be first?” Cue inevitable frantic scramble to be ‘first’. And second, third, fourth etc. That was it for the rest of the night, a stream of people tipping off the amps, the more daring doing full on forward somersaults (someone call the Olympics diving squad scouts) while the more timid sat on the edge & lowered themselves off. Meanwhile of course, the ‘larger’ members of the “off amp diving community” jumped off only to see the crowd who were supposed to be breaking their fall suddenly part & they inevitably went “Slap” onto the deck.

Lee’s a great frontman & had the audience in the palm of his hand. When he shouted “everyone take your shirts off & throw them on stage” everyone did without for a moment thinking “Why?” (Lee answered that question at the end of the next song when he said “Wow, thanks for all the new shirts”. Same went for cries of “Circle Pit” & “Go like this with your fists all the way through this song”.

A brilliant set whizzed past way to quickly. It ended with Lee inevitably taking to the crowd himself, diving into us then being moved around the room held aloft by everyone. Miraculously only one person was taken away by ambulance during the whole evening & that was before Trash Talk took to the stage.

This was one hell of an evening & I can’t imagine that anyone had anything other than a great time tonight. Pure entertainment through & Through.

Oh, & the tinnitus? Well that’s well & truly back.

Trash Talk have a few more dates left on this tour, including London tonight:

06-20 London, England ”“ The Garage
”¨06-21 Glasgow, Scotland ”“ King Tuts”¨
06-22 Newcastle, England ”“ Academy
2”¨06-23 Leeds, England ”“ Brudenell Social Club”¨
06-24 Milton Keynes, England ”“ Craufurd Arms
”¨06-25 Manchester, England ”“ Soundcontrol
”¨06-26 Nottingham, England ”“ Rock City Basement

All words Guy Manchester. More words by Guy can be read here.. He tweets as @guidoman & uses Tumblr.

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Guy is a former full time member of the Louder Than War editorial team, who's since moved on to pastures new. Music's been a large part of his life since he first stumbled across Peel on his tranny as a fifteen year old. His whole approach to music was learnt from Peel in fact, which includes having as inclusive a taste in music as possible. Guy devotes most of his time looking for new music & although he's been known to say "the only good music is new music" he pretty much accepts this is bollocks. Favourite band The Minutemen.


  1. As “Jon” pointed out, we brought the bodyboard, and we were also in the main room.
    Also there was no amp moving from room to room!
    Wicked gig though.

    • Right, yes, realised this myself when I read another review of the show on Tumblr. Sorry about that, the review’s been amended now anyway. I knew eventually my policy of always reviewing reviewing support bands (and not just the headliners like most other reviewers) would come back & bite me on the arse some day. Maybe you should get your name emblazoned on your body board or summat to help idiots like me.

      I deffo saw an amp being carried from the front room into the main room though. Maybe it wasn’t used in the end but it did make the journey.

  2. That’s fine dude, we didn’t mean it in any bad way! :)
    Also, FTF IS emblazoned on out bodyboard haha!

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