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Photo: Surfer Blood’s Facebook

Within the first quarter of the show, Surfer Blood’s front person JP Pitts has lost his balance. After a sloppy, inebriated version of ‘Miranda’, the singer asks the crowd to bring up a chair, merely to sit on it for 20 seconds. Before the guy behind me can spout “What was the point of that?”, they’ve already dived into their next song.

Perhaps a tongue-and-cheek reflection based off their name, the Floridian four-piece are all about going with the flow. Their surfed out bro-pop stands out like a sore thumb when placed in cold, rainy Britain. Nonetheless, their sunshine melodies crack through even the shabby Joiners venue, non-sacrificing their newest album 1000 Palms.

It’s hard to ignore the drunk European man who has been entertaining the small crowd the entire night. When the meandering man hops on stage to steal the spotlight via unwanted drum solos, untying Pitts’ shoes and playing with the mic cord, Pitts finally gives in and starts a “speech” chant – ending with the man singing a heartfelt Lithuanian (?) anthem and eventually being tossed out of the venue.

It didn’t take long for Surfer Blood to grab the attention back with their newest tracks, ‘Feast/Famine’ and ‘Dorian’, expanding into comfortable jamming sessions. Lo-fi production can sound hollow live so it’s filled in with reverb-heavy guitar riffs. A questionable impromptu solo during “Take It Easy” is cut short with an admittedly unperturbed “Sorry, this isn’t going anywhere”.

If the Astro Coast single ‘Swim’ that kicked off their career wasn’t grand enough, Pitts brings down his microphone stand to the crowd to belt out the rollicking power-pop hooks and stays down until the very end of their latest single, “I Can’t Explain”.  

Their unpolished, clumsy playing is overturned with spontaneous candid moments. And while they may not be the most technical band, Surfer Blood’s unpredictability guarantees a memorable live show.

Kialha Nakahara @kkialha

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