Oxygen Thief blew the roof off the exchange last night for their final full band show. Here’s what I thought…

After seven years playing as a full band, Barry, Neil and Ben played one last gig together, and we couldn’t have asked for a better night.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor, possible text that says 'LEAVING THE BAND NEIL & BEN BARRY LIF55HVH OXYGEN THIEF FULL BAND LINEUP FINAL SHOW WITH SPECIAL GUESTS THE VEGA BODEGAS STRANGE PLANES OX GNONSIN THE EXCHANGE, BRISTOL FRIDAY 31ST JANUARY 2020'

The show was opened by the awesome Strange Planes. The four piece band played us a selection of their songs from both their latest EP, Deaf Rattle, and some of their older tracks. Their loud sounds and amazing guitar riffs set the perfect opening tone for the night.

After a quick break, The Vega Bodegas were welcomed onto the stage. Another loud and brash four piece, we were treated to more dirty riffs and heavy songs from the Welsh group. Between jokes about masturbating and even a quick Q and A, some really awesome tunes were played, and the set was ended with Barry joining them on stage for Rupert are you ready?

Another quick break, then it was time for the main attraction. There was a noticeable sad excitement in the room, as anyone who has seen Oxygen Thief knows their shows are always killer, but also knowing that this will be the last time as a full band.

The BNexit* party was started with the song Self-Righting Mechanism, a song that starts off gentle before crashing into the loud drums, heavy guitar and strong bass. This was followed by a quick welcome and introduction before getting straight into the next song.

End of Pier Pressure is a song that always gets people moving, and tonight was no exception. The crowd was head-banging and moving their feet as the guys rocked it out on stage. This was followed by Disaster Plan, another head-banger.

Barry’s rainbow Doc Martins danced across the stage for the next songs, Trial & Improvement and Hubristolian, a fitting song for this final gig. Meanwhile, Ben and his Orlando City football club shirt rocked the drums and Neil, well Neil being Neil, smashed it out on the bass guitar.

Lost in the post- was next, with a nod to the hyphen on the name, so not to get confused with the Royal Mail, before going into what was dubbed (according to the set list, which I now proudly possess) The C Section.

Atheist Dior, another loud and heavy song about a waste of space, memories and forgetting was next, ahead of what was – in my opinion – the most prominent song of the night. Graffiti; Irony; Lists, a both heavy sounding and heavy hitting song about history and politics raised the roof and sent a big “fuck you” to the MPs in Westminster. This was proceeded by Suspension Bridge of Disbelief, another well-fitting song.

The Back To D Lads section was kicked off with The Incredible Sulk, and then I used to be Elephants, another song full of dirty riffs from Barry.

This was followed by something a little bit different, unexpected, but totally fucking awesome. A mashup cover of Jailhouse Rock and Rage against the machine got the whole crowd on their toes, singing and rocking along.

Alas, we all knew it was soon to be over. Barry started a chant of “three more songs”, to which everyone joined in, before playing Terry Nutkins Salute and There Can Be Only One. “TWO MORE SONGS” continued to be chanted by the crowd, but we all knew it was soon to be at an end. Thank yous were said, final words of love between the band members were told, and the final song of the night, Modesty Is Dead, began.

After much head banging and dancing along, the end of the song was met with roaring cheers and shouts, and the three guys on stage put down their instruments (or sticks) and came together for one last on stage hug. The deafening shouts of the audience showed just how well these guys played together, and although this is the last, we all know that all three will have the greatest success with their future, whether that is in music or not.

And with that, I would like to thank Barry, Neil and Ben for an amazing night, and the Exchange for hosting.

Review by Ted Stargatt

*Not a typo, that’s “Ben & Neil Exit” day. Kind of like Brexit but more important.

Read more: I caught up with Barry from OXYGEN THIEF ahead of their FINAL full band show this Friday…

Oxygen Thief announce FINAL FULL LINE UP SHOW at Bristol’s Exchange…

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