Spit, Sweat and Rock n' Roll...

Sometimes putting something into the darkest of places can allow them to sparkle. The upstairs nook of The Old Blue Last can help achieve just that. It often feels like a naughty secret of a joint to buy yourself into, with the unpolished pub setting providing a setting for roots-driven performances in the most intimate of surroundings. Allowing pop punk potentates Set Your Goals run riot on that Lilliputian stage of theirs was an epitaph to cheeky small-scale gigs everywhere, and one that the hardcore fans launching themselves head-first into mosh pit chaos will keep in their hearts for a very long time.

Of course, cons always follow pros. Whilst it may have been something of a treat to witness such a beloved band in a somewhat cosy venue, technically it was never going to be the best they've ever sounded. There may have been a few issues when it came to capturing the full effect of those dual and gang vocals, but let's face it- you don't come to a gig like this for high production value and Albert Hall standard acoustic quality. You go to have the spittle, sweat and fury of your heroes sprayed in your face like the by-products of a sordid rock n' roll sex show. There were none that gave harder than James Carroll, the valiant frontman of support band Make Do and Mend. In a monumentally passionate set, orgasmic melodies were accompanied by the greatest showers of various matter that could possibly emerge from a human face.

However, it was that blessed hotchpotch of characters in Set Your Goals that stole the show, from the very first crash of This Very Moment to the exultant closure of pop punk anthem Mutiny! There may be a number of other groups in the same easycore business, but when watching the Cali sextet you can't help but feel that they themselves are their own USP. They aren't your regular refined and styled breed of artist. Set Your Goals stand up as an example for those who always wanted to be in a band to make good tunes with their closest mates while sinking a few beers and bouncing around on stage.

Most of all, their front men are perhaps two of the unlikeliest heroes to emerge and lead the mosh. Jordan Brown, cutting a Goliath silhouette in the rapid flash of lights proves you don't need to squeeze into skinny jeans to be accepted on the scene; whilst the slight frame of Matt Wilson demonstrates that not being hench enough to pull off sleeve tattoos won't hold you back in this game. Armed with a back catalogue that's very real, very raw and irrepressibly infectious, it's a chemistry that works on stage and inspires off stage... how else can you get so many voices to sing?

As always, Set Your Goals confirmed their status as one of the best value bands in pop punk. Pulsating an energy that could raise ten thousand smiles, an intimate audience with a band of this calibre was an absolute winner.