Refused live @ London Kentish Town Forum
Fourteen years after the release of ‘The Shape of Punk To Come‘ and their collective disbandment, it was hardly cynical to wonder whether the 2012 Refused reunion could cut it. A band who are now all pushing 40, coming back together to resurrect a legacy that was built on 20-something youth, hyperactive live shows and revolutionary politics? Really? Can this actually fly?
As it turns out, it really could. As someone who has seen plenty of shows at London‘s Kentish Town Forum, I’m definitely of the opinion that it’s an increasingly rare occasion to see a band give it beyond their all and exceed expectations. Refused did exactly that, with every song sounding note perfect and even better than on record, and front man Dennis Lyxzen showing exactly what killer dance moves look like.
Songs such as ‘Summer Holidays Vs Punk Routine‘ sound as passion filled and exuberant as they did back in 1998, and with guitar riffs still have the same level of excitement and the ability to stop you in your tracks. Moreover, when they finally got around to playing ‘New Noise‘ it was apparent that this, arguably one of the best punk songs ever written, is still an anthem for scores of 30somethings and a whole new generation too.
But perhaps what was most evident from the whole night was that so much of Refused‘s passion and energy was stemmed from the fact that they are clearly enjoying playing together- the chemistry that made them so fantastic back in 1998 is still there and beating strongly . And it turns out, in a year when there have been countless bands reforming with little enthusiasm to basically ‘cash in‘, this is somewhat of a to be treasured rarity.
As they wrapped down their set, Dennis Lyxzen urged the crowd to ‘stay hungry‘ – what he’s maybe not aware of is that Refused are still head and shoulders ahead of anything that came after their break up, and will probably continue to be in the future. Whether they stay together or not past this reunion tour, It seems that ‘the shape of punk to come‘ will still continue to be dominated by it’s Swedish heroes from the past.