Words and Photos by Éimer Harper
MassMatiks are a four piece rock band from London who have been under the radar for a couple of years, but have recently found success after touring the UK in the summer of 2016 with Don Broco. Tonight, they kick off their biggest headline tour at the Joiners in Southampton.
The first familiar track is played two songs in, ‘Gunning For You’. The opening line “you won’t stop me being who I want to be // you won’t stop me with your jealously” is delivered with high velocity and magnetism from singer George Peploe with the whole crowd backing.
Halfway through the set they change the tempo completely, during mellow song ‘A Phonecall Away’ Peploe creates a circle in the crowd then performs in the centre, encouraging everyone to sing with a friend.
This song is a complete change of tone, from the lairy and energetic songs everyone is used to, to a completely stripped back and intimate track. It delves deeper into a more vulnerable and compassionate side of the band, with lyrics such as “we both lost someone that month and we both miss them so much”. Moving away from their usual big catchy choruses and aggressive vocals, the audience got to connect with the band on a more personal level.
‘Blank Wall’, a song they announced to be their next single, stood out from other new tracks during the set. ‘Blank Wall’ was the most impressive during the show, the immense guitar and bass hooks and passionate spoken word lyrics marry together to make a truly captivating experience.
The penultimate song is the single ‘4AM’. The lyrics “all I hear is fucking bragging” echo through the venue as the entire crowd scream along.
They closed the show with ‘Independence (Or Lack Of)’ their most well-known song. Just before the last chorus the crowd is instructed to crouch on the ground and when it kicks in, everyone jump up at once and they did. The atmosphere is electric. For a band who only have three songs available to listen to online, the crowd participation and energy during the whole show is intense.
The set list is short and sweet, only lasting around an hour but a captivating, raw and energetic hour. They take the term quality over quantity very seriously.