EMERGENCY BREAK, The Old Blue Last, London 13/01/24

Published on 15 January 2024 at 09:47

Photos: Daniel F Say

Words: Georgina Daniels


Folks emerged in their droves from their Festive-induced fever dream, and found themselves back in the motions of all work, no play, so the need for some entertainment injected with cheek and a little bit of gall was sought after. 


Emergency Break formed at the beginning of last year, and Leo, Ewan, Joe, James and Oran have already garnered a dedicated fan-base, having sold out Camden Assembly mid 2023. Yet, the next official stop on their gig calendar feels much too far away, as they announced their headlining feat at the o2 Academy Islington. Clearly, there is room for many more raucous happenings under their feet as they push forward as a band. 



The 5-piece, though still in the earlier stages of their journey in music, put on a show at East London’s finest boozer the Old Blue Last. With support from equally riotous Scum and Paper Hats, the London firecrackers came and went in a flurry of rebellious energy, and topped it up with their finest coming-of-age angst. Special shout-out to the main support vocalist who took the chance of singing into three microphones and riff-chatted some of the finest shit I have ever heard. Also to Scum for their excellent cover of Soft Play’s latest single Punk’s Dead. 


Clambering on to the stage with pop culture’s latest soundtrack Murder on the Dancefloor, the self-proclaimed post-punk Indie rockers sped through a rowdy collection of tunes, with extra crowd-pleasing covers like Take Me Out, Teddy Picker and Song 2. The choice, however, to also do a cover of About You by the 1975 felt incredibly stale and poorly chosen, although it was nice to see some otherwise absent female energy from pal Lily Rose. 



Though they only have a total of 2 songs on streaming platforms, EB still managed to fill the space and showcase what their sound is supposed to look like, namely of janky power laments like “It’s Over” and “PYRO”. Their tongue in cheek lyrics explore emotional frustrations that, although comically juvenile, felt like stories their audience could all too well relate to. Just shy of turning 18, it’s a great start for their songwriting abilities, not so great for their emotional wellbeing. Y’all just wait till you hit your mid 20s though, that’s when the real turmoil begins. 


The band clearly have the mainstay power, exuding confidence and a boisterous big boy energy necessary to take on this industry. They are versed on what to give punters aside from the music, with blow up bananas, beach balls and balloons being slam-dunked across the venue. Their stage was adorned with a Happy Birthday banner, as they celebrated 1-year as a band! Envelopes were passed around with birthday cards enclosed, and a signature Emergency Break playing card which will do quite nicely as a bookmark until I lose it.



The fresh-faced lads all carry a zeal that one tends to see in bands at the beginning stages of formation, which, endearing as it is, will likely fizzle quite quickly once the true challenges of being a musician sets in. I’ll let them have their fun whilst they can!


For fans of The Barracudas, Buzzcocks, Jacuzzi Boys, and literally any indie-rock band ever, you should check this band out too! Long live new bands; may we celebrate them and encourage them for all time. 


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