Lower Than Atlantis, O2 Academy Brixton,
11th May 2019
The night has come. The floor of Brixton Academy is packed and, whilst excited for the show, there is a tangible sense of mourning. In a few hours Lower Than Atlantis will be no more, and everyone is set on making sure their send off is the best it can possibly be.
The opening acts are a treat; both get the musical juices flowing through the veins of the audience, heads bopping along eagerly. Brunswick bless the crowd with an oddly hypnotic sound, whilst Dan Lancaster easily charms everyone with his beautiful voice and on stage charisma.
However, there is definitely an elephant in the room. Minds keep returning to the fact that this is, for many, their favourite band’s final show. Sad fans eagerly share stories of how many times they’ve seen the band, peel up sleeves to show off tattoos, and make setlist predictions before the lights suddenly dim and — It’s time.
There is an immediate jolt of movement as soon as the first notes of Get Over It are heard. People are singing along to every word, screaming at the ceiling with all their might. The first sign of a moshpit appears when the Self-Titled tracks show their face: Emily feels like a blur of bodies and excited smiles; Ain’t No Friend, despite it’s painfully apt lyrics of ‘I’m gonna call it a day’, has very much the same enthusiastic reaction.
Iconic tracks from World Record cause the crowd to react as if at a hardcore show, bodies crashing violently as everyone screams along to (Motor)Way of Life before joyously greeting Deadliest Catch with an ‘AHOY THERE! ALL ABOARD!’
One of the most fun songs, as always, is Beech Like the Tree. Mike Duce encourages people to surf to the front as it’ll be their last chance, and boy do people deliver. Bodies are already flying overhead as that oh-so familiar guitar rings out through the venue. If the World Was to End and Love Someone Else also feel equally as special, each song reminding the crowd of just how many amazing songs this band has churned out.
However, the show is undeniably bittersweet (we would know). The moments of joy, of singing along to your favourite songs, are split up by Duce’s upsetting little speeches. Whilst it makes everyone laugh to hear him talk about how cringe and false he finds American bands, the fact that he ‘can finally say’ these things because the band is breaking up… it stings.
Although, Another Sad Song is most definitely the saddest moment of the night. Duce jokingly introduces it by saying ‘I’m gonna play… a sad song… and if you don’t know what I mean by that… well… it’s a pretty sad song…’, but as soon as the song starts, it is no joke. Everyone in Brixton Academy is singing every word and it’s deafeningly beautiful. Hearing everyone singing ‘don’t – cry’ triggers the complete opposite; eyes are definitely damp by the end of the performance.
But these Watford lads don’t end it on a negative: Here We Go has some of the wildest energy of the night, and Duce takes the chance to hop onto the crowd one final time, his final surf as the singer of Lower Than Atlantis.
The band take their time before leaving. Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ plays as Duce thanks the crowd, Declan Hart hands out setlists, Ben Sansom throws out plectrums, and Eddy Thrower dishes out drumsticks. Nobody wants them to leave, but they eventually have to.
Whilst there is immediately a reaction of sadness, everybody is pleased to have given the band a worthy send off. Lower Than Atlantis have been an amazing part of the rock landscape, their 12 years together treating us to tracks greater than we deserve. They may have had enough, but we will never get tired of them.