Featured image and gallery: Ameena Ceesay
The Californian punk rock group Destroy Boys made their presence felt in Manchester’s Bread Shed venue as a taster before gracing the Slam Dunk stage that same weekend.
Original band members Alexia Roditis and Violet Mayugba formed Destroy Boys in 2015, when they were both only 15-years-old. Throughout their eight year life-span, the band has mainly performed in the United-States, it was last year in March when they embarked on their first UK tour.
Destroy Boys shows no signs of slowing down, with a larger-than-ever fanbase, the group is expanding their international profile, as they’re set to perform at Slam Dunk Festival, and other rock festivals all over Europe.
The staging was quite small, so the equipment was minimal, a few guitars, some microphones and a drum kit – which informed the group’s stripped down punk sound within their music, inviting comparison to bands such as Misfits. The venue itself was also quite small, but with a sold-out crowd present, it made for no awkwardly empty spaces.
The supporting act Pleasure Centre while not setting the world on fire, made you want to follow the audience’s lead and bop along. Their music varied between punk and shoegaze, and while decent, there weren’t any particular standouts in their set that were worth raving over. It was a standardised sound heard many times in modern alt rock, and as a result, it didn’t fully grab the crowd either. That being said, it wasn’t a misfire in the slightest, and the audience reception gradually picked up throughout their performance. As for the main act, it was such a treat from start to finish.
The connection they built between themselves and the audience was magical- through both their call and responses, fan interactions and the music itself, particularly through the songs ‘Cherry Garcia,’ where the fans lit their phone torches and swayed along, and the song ‘Vixen,’ as a shout out to the queer community. True to the roots of punk, most of the songs performed had political themes. As well as the aforementioned, there was also ‘For What?’ whose theme was, of course, “Fuck the police”. After a few stalled encores, including a cover of Green Day’s ‘When I Come Around’ they finished up with a solo from one of their lead vocalists, who serenaded the audience and sent them home happy.
The only downside is with such a small venue and a packed crowd, it made for little to no ventilation. But that’s only a minor inconvenience as Destroy Boys smashed it, their songs were full of energy and their stage presence was amazing. If you’re looking for the best of contemporary punk rock, then look no further than this band. At least in terms of their live set, they are definitely worth the listen.
Destroy Boys performing at the Bread Shed, Manchester