Photo by Francesca Tirpak.

Norwegian pop-rock four-piece Sløtface have been generating an impressive amount of buzz in the music world for a band with less than a dozen songs released on Spotify. Featuring punkish influences that are reminiscent of the metal culture guitarist Tor-Arne tells me after the show that Norway is well-known for, as well as an angsty and unapologetic presence, it’s hard to describe where they stand when it comes to genre. Nevertheless, the show is high-energy and engaging all throughout.

Photo by Francesca Tirpak.

Drummer Halvard catches the attention of the milling crowd first, followed by each member to step onstage one by one and begin their performance of ‘Take Me Dancing’, a carefree ballad reminiscent of youthful nights out. The crowd is hyped in no time, especially with the intimacy of Oporto’s venue; there couldn’t have been more than fifty-odd people in the room, and that’s a stretch. Lead vocalist Haley wishes everyone a happy Valentine’s Day, her claim that being there is “so much better than being on a dinner date, or whatever people do” ringing very true and garnering an enthusiastic cheer: “F*ck that bureaucratic shit!”

Photo by Francesca Tirpak.

Following this is ‘Bright Lights’, one of their newest songs and offering a very much moodier essence about escaping the ideas common in society (‘I need that bright light shining in my eyes / Take me away from the edge of the stage’). Sløtface have been touring the US, the UK and Germany without an album for a while now, playing newer singles and songs from EPs, most of which haven’t officially been released, but Haley promises they’ll have a full-length debut out later this year. Listening live is a welcome teaser of what’s to come.

Photo by Francesca Tirpak.

It’s also an engaging show of talent and appreciation for those who came to support the foursome. Bassist Lasse jumps into the crowd during the performance of one of their older songs, ‘Angst’ (released in 2014), and Haley does the same during the very last song, ‘Shave My Head’, a very feminism-centric song about being independent and escaping a possessive relationship, screaming ‘I’d never shave my head for you’. A crowd member passes Lasse her phone and the group turn their backs to the floor, hold the phone up, and take a selfie with the animated crowd before dispersing.

Sløtface have played Leeds four times already, and toured the UK plenty of times. They’re appreciative of their fans and concert-goers, always ready to have a conversation about the differences between music scenes in varying countries and limited edition equipment they’re proud to own, and prepared to run around with a seven-inch split to sign even whilst attempting to pack up their gear. If engagement and good music are what interest you in a gig, then these are the people to see.

All photos by Francesca Tirpak. 

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