Philly hardcore band’s UK debut is a sweaty win

Key takeaways: 

  • Their live show straightens the nuances of their recorded music – however, the bad-to-the-bone troublemaker threesome placed on a dynamic, finished show.
  • From a couple of feet back, the mosh pit appears to be sufficiently enthusiastic – however, clearly not from the phase of the little Windmill. “Get the mess up here and show off your abilities, goddamit,” demands Soul Glo frontman Pierce Jordan. 

The Philadelphia no-nonsense group of four, making their UK debut following their heavenly introduction to Diaspora Problems, obviously needs to leave an imprint. Furthermore, they do – unquestionably in heat. Inside two tunes, the air is weighty with dampness, and drummer TJ Stevenson has stripped to the abdomen. “Do you believe I’m perspiring?” he asks the group.

“Those are tears,” counters Jordan. “We’re crying from each pore of our bodies.”

Diaspora Problems is a surprising record in light of multiple factors – for giving voice to Black resentment in a predominantly white sport and venturing outside the limitations of a no-nonsense troublemaker while never forfeiting its more right than wrong to be bad-to-the-bone.

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Live, unavoidably, the nuances are straightened. There are no visitor raps, Jordan’s words are generally garbled, and the entire set – just a division over 30 minutes – passes suddenly of careless energy. The main concessions to the record’s variety are examples of electronic commotion and pieces of discourse between melodies.

In any case, the show thrills. Jordan and guitarist Gianmarco “GG” Guerra are charming existences. Jordan is part haranguer, part speaker, part member. He remains on top of screens, a stage divers feet right in front of him, not recoiling; he sits at the lip of the stage, trying the moshers to slight his space. Furthermore, his words are fierce – Soul Glo don’t go in for straightforward serenades; they are a lengthy band by all accounts.

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