It’s interesting to see the difference in the crowd at this gig compared to the other Alexisonfire side project, City and Colour. Dallas Green’s quietly melodic singer songwriter style attracts all the emo kids • last time he played Cardiff it was a sea of long fringes and black hoodies. Black Lungs however attract a much more eclectic mix of people • old punk-rockers in leather jackets daubed with slogans, rockabilly girls in corsets with rainbow hair and red lipstick and for some reason there are a large number of curious Welsh musicians here too: Scott Andrews (ex-Midasuno), Alex Pennie (ex-Automatic) and Sean Smith (The Blackout) amongst others.
Black Lungs is the work of Wade MacNeil and Sammi Bogdanski, but this is basically Wade MacNeil’s project, he does pretty much everything on the record. For his live band though he has also acquired the services of George Pettit (Alexisonfire) on bass and Liam Cormier (Cancer Bats) on drums and it’s interesting to see them both playing different roles here • very well too. The Black Lungs sound is melodic, often old school sounding punk and can be quite melancholy at times but it’s not heavy as you might expect the sound to be from this collection of musicians and they seem to be enjoying this opportunity to break their moulds.
Wade’s husky voice is lovely and powerful• it’s great to hear him finally able to shine as a front man; the tunes are catchy with a danceable rock and roll edge from the keyboard and punk riffs from the guitars and both Wade and George offer some fun on stage banter to make everyone feel comfortable. This must feel like a really intimate gig for the band considering the venues they usually pack out these days • this small club is only really half full, but the atmosphere is warm and friendly and on stage as well as off everyone is very obviously having a good time and the audience really show their appreciation for every note of every song.