The Tuts arrived in Southampton on the first date of their headline tour of their stunning debut album, Update Your Brain. The album was released earlier this month through a successful Pledge campaign. The Hayes pop-punk trio’s live show is frenetic, making the sweaty, intimate Joiners the perfect setting. Having previously played Glastonbury and supported The Selecter twice, they’ve gained a strong, loyal following while remaining fiercely D.I.Y by booking all the tour dates themselves and creating and selling merch at their shows. They didn’t disappoint, blowing my mind and winning over new fans in the process.
Support came from Southsea-based indie poppers Personal Best. Having not seen them live before, they were tight and impressive, with songs like ‘Love Is On Your Side’, ‘I Go Quiet’, and ‘This Time Next Year’ bringing a feel-good atmosphere to the crowd with a lot of jumping and dancing. Vocalists and guitarists Kate and El’s intertwining harmonies are superb on record, but live they were brought up a notch, warming things up nicely.
The Tuts come on and once Beverley Ishmael’s drums kick in on ‘Tut Tut Tut’, they were bursting with energy, singer and guitarist Nadia Javed’s confident rapping offering something refreshing. When Beverley introduced ‘Worry Warrior’, the chaotic energy increased, both Nadia and bassist Harriet Doveton coming into the crowd to play the solo. This was a nice touch as it shows how much they connect with an audience.
During the political ‘Give Us Something Worth Voting For’, Nadia and Harriet’s dual vocal interplay working superbly alongside Beverley’s fluid drumming, and it was so captivating watching them onstage. Before they played ‘1982’, Nadia told the audience what the song was about – a manager the band signed with who told them they were shit. Although this manager told them he was respected, the band found out his contacts died in around 1982, prompting some laughs from the audience. The track itself was raw and energetic, the pop-punk breakdown getting some members of the audience jumping and singing along.
Before ‘Dump Your Boyfriend’, Nadia told a story about a relationship and the good things a boyfriend does, like “cook pasta and spooning”, and then the relationship disintegrating. All three band members addressed the crowd with the moral of the story, “If you’ve got a shit boyfriend, dump your boyfriend!” and the track was such an adrenaline rush that Nadia’s guitar cut out because she was jumping so much, adding to the raw energy of the performance. They also encouraged the audience to ‘vote’ for a cover they were going to play: ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ by The Clash, or ‘Wannabe’ by The Spice Girls. The crowd opted for the latter, and The Tuts put their own spin on it, bringing a fresh punk energy with a bit of moshing.
A similar atmosphere ensued during ‘Always Hear The Same Shit’, where Nadia jokingly called for a wall of death. Although this didn’t happen, the crowd responded with a mosh pit, while the chemistry onstage was brilliant to watch, with Nadia and Harriet displaying a similar eyeball-to-eyeball intensity to Pete Doherty and Carl Barat from The Libertines.
The Tuts finished on the raucous ‘Back Up’, rounding off an evening which increased their fanbase, showing Southampton why they are one of the best live bands in the UK.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos