Live Review: Teen Creeps – Summer Gloom Festival (Antwerp) – 30/06/18

Day 2 of Summer Gloom Festival in Antwerp, and it’s certainly not gloomy, it’s absolutely scorching. Following on from Friday performances at Kavka by the likes of U.S garage rockers Culture Abuse and hardcore innovators Cro Mags, Saturday’s bands feature early performances from UK familiars Gender Roles, Kamikaze Girls and Cassels to name a few, at the bustling and sweaty venue Zappa.

As evening approaches, the attention switches to Belgium natives Teen Creeps (shortly followed by compatriots Newmoon), who rightfully generate a vast crowd apiece. It was an uphill struggle for Teen Creeps, with bassist and singer Bert Vliegen having broken his collarbone shortly before the event, which meant friend Jesse filled in on bass. Because of this, the stage presence of the band looked uncharacteristic and static at first, with a lack of cohesion between band members made evident. On the contrary, it could be argued that this is perfectly understandable with a new band setup. However, as the set progressed the band defied the odds and began to look more comfortable, and their raw, lo-fi sludgy garage rock sound found on 2018 debut Birthmarks began to translate. Songs such as ‘Mercury’ and ‘Will’ are the pile-drivers behind the bands re-invigoration, as they finish the set strongly in front of a home crowd. Summer Gloom is the starting point for Teen Creeps’ Summer tour, as they endure across mainland Europe throughout July, furthered by one-off shows in August and September. Having adapted to the new setup, it’s granted the band will make new fans aplenty.

The night concludes with a spellbinding performance from math-rockers And So I Watch You From Afar, perfectly blended with the epic post-rock of This Will Destroy You, to round off a superbly sweaty weekend.