Neck Deep triumph in biggest show of their career – review | Music | Entertainment


“I’m the most nervous person in the room,” Ben Barlow yelped to 10,000 people at Alexandra Palace between Neck Deep songs. He fooled me.

Hitting the stage of the legendary London venue on Thursday, March 28, 2024, the Wrexham heroes played the biggest show of their career. At times, during the early songs of the setlist, it felt as if the rockers were unsure they deserved this kind of response.

Their audience fixed that, though. As soon as their first song, Dumbstruck Dumbf**k, flew into action, crowd surfers and mosh pits were in full force, pointing out that, yes, these fans really do love these songs – and this band.

After a while, the band found their feet. Barlow flailed his limbs and punched the air to the beatdowns of Gold Steps and Losing Teeth. Meanwhile, bassist Seb Barlow span on the spot as he delivered crushing basslines throughout Don’t Wait.

Neck Deep had a real party on Alexandra Palace’s mighty stage, and – honestly – it was like watching the next version of Blink-182 emerging from a chrysalis.

“We’ve worked very hard for this,” Barlow told the room, after finding his feet. “Very hard.”

They have. Neck Deep has been around in full force since 2012. They’ve worked on collaborative split-EPs, toured the world with bigger bands, signed at merch desks, and slowly crawled up festival line-ups in the process.

To me, Neck Deep are a bit of an anomaly. On paper, they could easily be dismissed as just another pop-punk band playing quick American-accented songs with catchy hooks and melodies.

But, while in that room of more than 10k fans, they felt like something else. Neck Deep felt like a movement. Not just because their magnetic riffs and choruses were screamed back at them by thousands of people – no; because they made punk feel alive again.

And I don’t mean the sorry excuse for punk that has masqueraded through the Top 10 for the past 20 years. Instead, Barlow had a passion and a point to make.

“I have to use my platform,” Barlow screamed, before raising his middle finger and announcing: “F**k the Tories, f**k Rishi Sunak, f**k Joe Biden, f**k Donald Trump, and f**k the corporations.”

Adorned in a “No War” tee-shirt, Barlow launched into We Need More Bricks and Don’t Wait to really hammer home their politically charged statements. Between heartfelt tracks of love lost and scorned teenage dreams, Barlow made it clear which side of the fight he was on, and encouraged his fans to stand beside him.

Oddly enough, the most memorable and exciting pieces of Neck Deep’s set came from their slower songs.


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