On Essex’s grandest live stage, the main stage at Village Green Festival, Southend’s Asylums stole the whole effing show this past Saturday. Their brand of Ash meets The Clash embodied everything great about alternative pop, full of heart, desperation and better than annoying the mainstream could ever manufacture.
Essex, a county a tradition in right leaning politics, was lit up with Joe Strummer’s sloganeering and Billy Bragg’s social comment via frontman Luke Branch. ‘Joy In A Small Wage’ was pure pop rebellion. The imagery of the “outsider” knowing their worth, in today’s society, is a truly powerful one.
Taking messages such as “Sexists, we fucking hate you” to the suburbs seems innocuous, but really, it’s brave. How many of us can truly say we stand up and be counted in little England? Refusing intolerance, Asylums launch into a scorching rendition of ‘Second Class Sex’. The destruction levels are taken sky high on ‘Napalm Bubblegum’, no one was left unscathed!
With a certain other Southend outfit headlining the day, Asylums showcased everything pop music could and should be. They held up a mirror to a fractured society with pop hooks from the heavens. Credible, lovable, outsiders do not wear school uniforms!
*Image courtesy of Andrew Kenyon
Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here: