SorryHarvest Sun @ EBGBS 8/2/20
There’s always a risk that running through most of your debut album before its release will alienate your audience, but SORRY make it work for them. After a couple of years of hype-inducing live shows and mixtapes, followed by an abrupt disappearance and just as abrupt return late last year, the London post-punk four-piece – headed by the dual vocal talents of Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen – are finally dropping debut album 925 at the end of March. On a blustery Saturday night in the packed-out basement space of Liverpool club EBGBs, they let everyone know why we should be counting the days until we can hear it in full.
While they keep audience interaction to a minimum, the crowd is more than happy to make as much noise as the band, starting immediately with them opener (and lead single from 925), Right Around The Clock. Its interpolation of Tears For Fears Mad World turns heads, even those loitering at the bar, and provides an unusual singalong to kick off an evening mainly defined by head nodding.
There’s very little question of coming up for air for the first part of the set: despite the mood set by their on-record performance, the live version of Sorry has a distinctly punk mentality. Things are kept simple, and changeovers between songs are kept brief, all the better to keep up the show’s momentum.
While things inevitably lag slightly during the unheard cuts from the album, they crescendo during the one-two punch of Starstruck and Rock ’N’ Roll Star. The former, being the irresistible slice of indie-pop that put their name on the map, gets a very warm reception from the hardcore fans in the small pit that forms in the crowd, while the latter skewers the figure of the predatory ‘washed up rock ’n’ roll star’ at the same time that it elevates Sorry to their own level.
The last leg of the set runs through a few fan favourites – including highlights from their run of 2017 singles, such as Showgirl and, as an explosive set closer, Lies. While many bands in the new wave of British punk music have chosen to eschew more conventional songwriting, Sorry’s take on pop-rock is one that fits perfectly, in spite of the band’s relative youth. If they’re putting on shows this polished and energetic without even an album out, we can only imagine what they’ll be doing only a year from now.