Puppy at Boston Music Room, London - live review

London’s fast-rising rockers conquer their gremlins

Art for Puppy live at Boston Music Room, London

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Considering their recorded output thus far consists of just two EPs, or 10 songs, and one new single, it’s quite a feat to see London trio Puppy not only effortlessly fill a headline length set with very little in the way of filler, but also to sell out the Boston Music Room completely. It’s also evident that the last 18 months of support slots and festival appearances have honed them into a tighter, more confident live act than they were when we first witnessed them. Unfortunately, tonight there’s a touch of the sound gremlins in the mix, which is both unusual for this venue and robs Puppy a touch of the crispness and clarity that their sublime melodies need. That said, it’s impossible to completely flatten songs like Entombed and The Great Beyond, with their mixture of crunching riffs, ultra-catchy melodic leads and odd, lo-fialt-rock choruses, with just a muddy sound system. What’s even more encouraging is that the new material they showcase from their forthcoming debut album sounds, on first listen, like Puppy have shifted up another gear, adding a slick Van Halen-style glam touch to their sound. Much like this headline performance, it hints that, as enjoyable as Puppy are, there is plenty of room for growth. But with such a unique musical flavour, and with three very different, but equally engaging, personas onstage, expect Puppy to go from a very good live band, to a superb one in the not-too-distant future.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.