Brighton band Porridge Radio released one of our favorite albums of 2020, Every Bad, but their plans to tour it were derailed because of Covid. They put out that album's follow-up, the fantastic Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky, in May, and they're finally on their first-ever tour of the US, which stopped in NYC for a show at Bowery Ballroom with Sean Henry on Friday night (9/23). With two great albums worth of new material to cover, my anticipation was very high for this show, and it was more than rewarded when Porridge Radio took the stage. Dana Margolin is a mesmerizing frontperson with fevered delivery whether she's howling into her mic, attacking her guitar, or traversing the stage with feral grace. The band's songs mine neuroses with empathy and care, and songs like "Birthday Party" with its repeated chorus of "I don't wanna be loved" are both devastating and cathartic.
For their encore, Porridge Radio did their cover of Wolf Parade's "You Are A Runner And I Am My Father's Son" (they also recorded it for Sub Pop's Singles Club). It's a beautiful, affecting rendition, with drummer Sam Yardley taking the guitar from Margolin while she stalked the stage and loomed over the crowd. They followed that with oddball anthem "Sweet," which made for a great singalong ending to a fantastic night.