Live Review: The Chapman Family @ Independent

on Monday, November 07, 2011
The Chapman Family at SUMO Sunderland, Independent (4 Nov '11) // Words: Emily Solan

The newest clubnight to hit Sunderland, SUMO bought all guns ablazing by treating clubgoers to not one but two live bands on Friday night - headlined by The Chapman Family. That terrible concept of pre-drinking that my flatmate insisted upon meant that I missed all but one song by Liars Lie!, but what I heard I did like. And considering that the city of Sunderland is pretty much chav central, there was a decent turn out.

Packing the little room at Independent, I had high hopes for The Chapman Family. I've long been a fan of their brand of what can only be described as loud music, giving their debut album 'Burn Your Town' an 8.0/10 review earlier in the year. Having seen them live many times before the gig seemed like an exciting propspect.

However, what we no refer to as Chapman Family version 5 completely disappointed me. Gone were Kingsley's humourous comments and the usual scappy (yet loveable) nature of their live shows, at SUMO it was just a cacophany of noise. And the crowd agreed, dwindling from a pretty sizeable affair at the start of the show, to a dedicated bunch at the end.

I even struggle to decipher the tracks played, which really disappointed me as an avid Chapman listener. It seems the gimmicks and onstage stangulation has been pushed aside for an attempt at a professional approach which just falls flat. My flatmate put it best when she left, having decided "The Chapman Family sound so much better on my iPod". Just this once I'm inclined to agree.

Download their cover of Kate Bush's 'Army Dreamers' for free above. For more info on their current UK tour, which ends on November 21st, head to

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