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[Review] Boston Manor & Movements @ Croxton Hotel, Melbourne 19/03/2023

At first, I was hesitant of going to a late-night gig on a Sunday night. Afterwards, I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a night. I left The Croxton sweaty, red-faced with sore feet, but feeling oh-so alive and energised. What a treat it was to see emo heavy-weights Boston Manor and Movements back-to-back, with strong support from underground Australian gem, Bad Juju.

Walking into The Croxton, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the venue so full for a support act. The room is alive and buzzing, Bad Juju hyping them up so much it’s unreal. A pit is open in the middle of the mosh, and young men are throwing punches and kicks into the air. Bad Juju bark out a single instruction; “Bang your fucking heads”, before launching into Disappoint. The five-piece are absolutely killing it on instrumentals, working very much as a unit, and it shows. Finishing with Bloom, from their first EP Hidden Desire, they left that room hungry for more. Expect big things from these Melbourne hardcore beginners in the years to come.

Next up are Blackpool natives, Boston Manor. Even at soundcheck, the drums are so loud I swear my eardrums are about to burst. The stage is suddenly bathed in red and orange light, and they play the haunting, titular track of their newest release, Datura. There’s a “calm before the storm” energy flowing in that room. We all know it’s about to go hard, but when? Boston Manor have us completely under a spell. Front-man Henry Cox is not one to mess around. As the song draws to a close, he screams into the microphone, “Melbourne! Take some steps forward. Come on! Come on! Let’s fucking go!” He is giving us everything he can, hair sticking to the sides of his face already. The crowd seem a little hesitant to go full-out, and Cox can sense that, and won’t stand for it. “I know it’s a Sunday, but wake the fuck up, it’s the last day of tour. Open up a pit in the middle. First person to mosh wins a free t-shirt!” And then, he repeats again, “Let’s fuckin go!” They wind their way through Datura, the crowd is starting to go crazy. Halfway through the set Cox takes a minute to address us again, “This next song features an Australian, John Floreani.” Floreani comes onstage to sing Liquid with them. Having gone to high school in Newcastle, I have a deep love for Floreani (maybe our most valuable export), and audibly gasp. There is a chill in the room, and we all stand very still, in amazement. The crowd cheers along with me when the track finishes, and then immediately start yelling “Shooey! Shooey! Shooey!” Cox quickly shuts us down; “God, so original you Australians. John said if you do one once, you’ll be made to do it every time. I’ve never done one, and I never will.” And so, with some mumbling and grumbling, we settle down. The standout moment of Boston Manor’s set is the track, You, Me and the Class War. “A lot of our music is inspired by where we’re from.” Blackpool is the worst city in England for poverty, and so the political rage and personal-nature of the song, come out of the band with such intensity and ferocity – like they are starting a revolution in that room. Halfway through the song, right before the screamy, heavy and intense bridge, Cox takes a minute to once again bark instructions at us.

“Alright, I need you to split this room in half.”

We all know what’s coming – The Wall of Death.

“I promise you, it’s fun. A few rules,

  1. Don’t be a dick
  2. Care about each other. If someone falls pick them back up.

And the secret third rule,

  1. Have a lot of fucking fun”

It’s immediately clear to me that the band cares deeply about safety and respect at their shows. I have always found emo and hardcore moshes to be wonderful spaces of unity, community and controlled aggression. At the front of The Wall are some big guys, shirtless, and some of the smallest gothic girls in Hellraiser platform boots. Worthy opponents.

Then, the build starts.

This ain’t love / This is a class war.

People shuffle from foot-to-foot, ready.

This ain’t love/ THIS IS A CLASS WAR.

Cox screams into the microphone, lights strobe, and the crowd runs, full-force into each other. It’s electrifying. Any reservation or fatigue we felt at the start of the night is gone. We are going for it with everything we have – and so are they. They finish with a reminder to buy merch from smaller bands, to go to local gigs, to keep having nights as thrilling as these, we have to keep independent music alive.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Movements’ front-man, Patrick Miranda. He was very chatty, introspective, sensitive and calm when we spoke. I’ve been a fan of Movements since their conception, and I knew this was going to be a special night for me, and for everyone. We were in Miranda’s hands, and I trusted him to take us for one hell of a ride.

I wasn’t wrong.

The Orange County band comes onstage. Miranda steps forward and grabs the microphone, “You know what Australia is known for? Going fucking crazy at shows. I need you to move up, move up, move up. Fill this room up and get ready to show me what you can do.” I’m now three rows from the front, sticking to the people around me, toes crushed, and electrified.

They start off strong with Third Degree and wind their way through a collage of songs from their various releases. Bookmarking the set, was new release, Cherry Thrill. It’s pop-ier than their previous songs, but Miranda was delighted about trying out a new sound for the band when I spoke with him. The crowd was not disappointed by the change. People were dancing at a hardcore show; spinning, and singing along. Next up, was Full Circle. A favourite of mine, and the rest of the crowds. Whatever space and reprieve we had before was gone. We were now clamouring over each other to scream these lyrics at the band. Miranda turns the mic towards us, and a wave of sound echoes back at him.

Without a struggle there can’t be progress/ ‘Til it comes around again

Miranda has openly struggled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depression, but expressed his reluctance with me to become a “martyr” or a “spokesperson” for mental illness. He is not a martyr to us; he is one of us. Movement’s lyrics understand us, all of the feelings we think we have to face alone. As I scream with a chorus of other voices, all of them heavy with feeling, heavy with the pain and grief and love and redemption; I realise I am not alone. That is the power of Miranda’s lyricism and of Movements musicianship.

 It comes in waves/ and I’m pulled below/ It’s not subjective, it’s clinical

 I love very few things the way I love Daylily, the iconic track from Movements 2017 release; Feel Something. The track was released in my last year of high school, and I’ve spent many years since screaming those words into my pillow or in the car. It helped me through those years of being very young, very angry and very sad, and brought me here – still young, but only a little angry and a little sad. I’ve never known someone who shares my same affinity for Feel Something. And then, suddenly, I was in the middle of it. Surrounded by other sweaty bodies, jostling, and jumping, all of us turning red, giving ourselves tinnitus, and bursting veins to scream along:

But the sunrise will come again/ And you’ll be just fine / You’ll be just fine.

 We are such a chorus, in fact, that lead-singer Patrick Miranda, points the microphone to us several times during the song, a little grin coming onto his face. He grabs an old-school video camera to film the crowd, and I see people’s hands turned into hearts, boys trying to crowd-surf, and everyone pushing as far forward as humanly possible. We are a single body.

When Movements finish, and the night is done, the song A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton starts playing. Its piano intro is so silly, the song itself basically a meme. And I am so emotional seeing all these people; goths, business wear dads, surfer bros and any other members of the rag-tag crew that was there tonight. All of them, with tears down their face, drenched in sweat and emotional liberation, sing along to such a silly song. They hold hands and link arms and skip or kiss each other on the cheek. I am overwhelmed with joy. I don’t think I’ve ever had sweeter dreams.

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Movements & Boston Manor Announce Australian Tour

There’s movement at the manor and all signs are pointing down under, with Southern Californian quartet Movements and British rockers Boston Manor announcing a huge Australian tour kicking off in March 2023, their first time back to Australia since 2018!
Starting in Brisbane on March 9 at The Triffid, the co-headline extravaganza will visit Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Belgrave, Melbourne and Adelaide, before closing out on March 18 at Amplifier Bar in Perth.
Reflecting personal changes from a whirlwind five years, Movements realize the full scope of their storytelling, musicianship and vision on their 2020 second full-length album, No Good Left To Give that’s already had over 15 million total global streams. Not only does the music address the emotional push-and-pull of relationships, but it also explores loss, love, mental health, and even sex through a prism of newfound clarity sound-tracked by post-punk grit, alternative expanse, heartfelt spoken word, expansive rock, and subtle pop ambition.
Following the 2016 EP Outgrown Things, the group cemented a singular sound on their 2017 full-length debut, Feel Something. Eclipsing 100 million total global streams by 2021, it immediately connected by way of Daylilly (over 36 million Spotify streams), Full Circle (over 16 million Spotify streams), and Colorblind [over 12 million Spotify streams]. In 2021, Movements released their B-sides 7” which included two new tracks extending the Movements universe organically from songs recorded during the recording sessions for No Good Left To Give.
Movements continue to pack out shows worldwide, closing out 2022 with appearances alongside A Day To Remember, The Used, Magnolia Park and many more.
Hailing from Blackpool, Lancashire in England, Boston Manor emerged as teenagers via an attempt to reinvigorate the music scene in their hometown.
Their 2018 album Welcome To The Neighbourhood was set in a fictionalised version of their hometown, while 2020’s GLUE was a powerful reflection of a broken world filtered through Cox’s own cathartic thoughts and experiences. Both albums shifted the needle in terms of Boston Manor’s sound, incorporating synths into their framework and a heavy focus on atmosphere. Coming off the back of last year’s Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures EP, their forthcoming album Datura takes all that one step further. It is undeniably the most ambitious record Boston Manor have ever made. The first of two parts, this set of songs exists in the dim light between dusk and dawn. It’s a record you don’t just merely listen to, but one you actually inhabit and experience.
In 2022 alone, Boston Manor have toured with Alexisonfire, appeared at Riot Fest in Chicago and various other festivals around the globe. Previously nominated for Best British Breakthrough at the Kerrang! Awards in 2018 and for Best Album Artwork at the Heavy Music Awards in 2019, Boston Manor continue to leap forward into new and exciting territory; and 2023 is set to ignite the quintet to staggering new heights.
With Movements armed with their 2020 sophomore album No Good Left To Give and Boston Manor primed with their fourth full length record Datura out October 14, these Australian shows are set to showcase the cathartic and immersive might of each band in their own signature way; from the post-hardcore, spoken work and pop subtleties of Movements to the infectious pop punk, crunching anthems and vulnerability of Boston Manor, you’ll be guaranteed all the feels and stunning vigour that both bands have become beloved for over the past several years.
Come and experience the ferocious talent of Movements and Boston Manor in a town near you!Early bird pre-sale tickets on sale: Wednesday 5 October @ 5pm local time

To Gain Early Ticket Access Register Here -> https://bit.ly/23BMMsignup

General tickets on sale Friday 7 October @ 10am local time
Tickets from destroyalllines.com.au



General tickets on sale Friday 7 October @ 10am local time
Tickets from destroyalllines.com.au


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