Live review: The Linda Lindas, London O2 Academy2 Islington

The Linda Lindas make their UK debut with a scintillating sell-out show in the capital…

Live review: The Linda Lindas, London O2 Academy2 Islington
James Hingle
Derek Bremner

The career trajectory of The Linda Lindas is nothing short of mind-blowing. After going viral in 2021 with their socially charged song Racist Sexist Boy, they’ve already reached heights they could have only dreamed of – and this is all before any of the band are even old enough to vote. From opening for a reformed Bikini Kill, to playing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, these young punks have the entire world at their feet. And tonight, they hit London for the very first time to bring their brand of jovial punk to a sell-out crowd – a crowd who have been hanging about here all afternoon to get a glimpse of their new heroes.

Kicking off proceedings and giving everyone a lesson in social injustice are London’s self-proclaimed queer punk feminists Dream Nails. Lead singer Leah Kirby sets the mood by asking all women, queer, trans and non-binary people to the front, which creates a safe environment for those who are too often marginalised by the failures of modern-day society. Dream Nails’ message is clear: they’re using their brand of fun, jangly punk to break down barriers and help see in a new age for punk rock.

If The Linda Lindas have learned one thing at their first UK show, it’s the lingo. “Excuse me if I say ‘dude’ or ‘bro’ a lot, I am from LA, I can’t help it,” proclaims guitarist Lucia de la Garza, “but I do know you say ‘mate’ and ‘blud’ here, so it’s the same thing…” Taking to the stage donning brightly coloured outfits and faces painted with their favourite animals, the band instantly bring an infectious, light-hearted attitude that gives the very gatekeepers of punk a run for their crusty boots.

The set is filled with funny anecdotes about their travels (which even sees the band bring up the great Jaffa Cake debate) and songs that sound way beyond their years. What is clearly immediately astonishing about The Linda Lindas is just how young they are, and when they go from rattling off the jangly heights of Talking to Myself to the heavy attitude-filled buzz of Fine, it solidifies the opinion that they really are set for super-stardom.

“Now we’ve got acquainted, let’s take away any bad energy you have in your life!” shouts guitarist Bela Salazar. What follows then is a collective audience and band scream, allowing everyone to use it as a form of therapy to scream away any bad vibes in their life. Racist Sexist Boy arrives soon after as a more poignant moment, with these teens clearly very in tune with the power they possess.

The Linda Lindas’ talents are bountiful; there is no lead singer here, no one member hogging the spotlight. Each with songs of their own, each sharing the duties – the combination of all four is a real knockout blow, and you can’t help but feel this show is a real knocking down of the door.

Punk is changing for the better. The revolution has already started, and its future lays at the hands of The Linda Lindas.

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