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1st June 2022

Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky – Porridge Radio – Album and Live Review

Album and Gig review of Porridge Radios latest release ‘Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky’
Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky – Porridge Radio – Album and Live Review
Porridge Radio at Night and Day; Photo: Teddy Maloney @ The Mancunion

To celebrate and showcase their new album, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky, released as a follow up to their Mercury nominated, Every Bad, Porridge Radio began with a sold-out show at Night & Day Café. As an album it has a purpose, songs are evidently written as a way of understanding the success that has become synonymous with the group. Having the majority of their rising fame under COVID-19, the group finally is able to connect with fans away from the radio. To share a connection with those who appreciate, some fanatically, the direct lyricism and powerful sound. The gig starts out slow, but there is clearly a force building, just like the album it tempts the audience closer, to engage with them. And quickly, as has become and will presumably always be the strength of the group, the sound swallows you. A swallowing that surrounds spectators and listeners alike. It travels, it tempts, it shocks you into being subdued.

A jaunty release in ‘Trying, the directedness of the lyrics is obvious from the outset, yet, hidden behind layers of interpretation to the listener. Multiple scenarios are available, and here lies much of the beauty of Porridge Radio, it can fulfil any and all situations at which you’d apply it to. And ‘if I was I older’ I may be able to comprehend, or understand what the literal meaning is, but this feels as if it would contradict the desire of the group – for you can receive whatever gifts given by them. They may not ‘want to be loved’ but this album clearly will be. As shown by the growing physical movement of the crowd, hips begin to sway and heads nod, the earlier released singles are retorted back to the group in loving unity. Porridge Radio have connected with their fans.

An album that is contradictory, constantly navigating itself through ideals of belonging and identity, love and hate, good and bad. Indecision, unknowing and a sense of being gracefully aware of oneself. Songs like, ‘U Can Be Happy If You Want To‘, reflect this conversation with consciousness. A memorandum of the feeling that dwells in the existence of companionship. A mutual understanding of experience that it commonly understood, as common as the language that is used here. Nothing is new, nothing is surprising in the lyrism that merely beckons a connection. Yet, with an increasing tempo, you will never feel good again. And, that is entirely opposite to the rather wholesome tones of the track. ‘Flowers’ finds itself in the middle of the album and set; it slows the tempo of their album, offering space for reflection. It is an egoistic knowledge of self-entitlement. Even in an understanding that toxicity may lie in the individual, there is a self-respect that transcends bettering another. Instead, it understands that resentment, disapproval and spite are above all emptions that we deem acceptable. The water that feeds the very being of heart, that others drink, this same water that toxified our souls – for plants do not water themselves.

Here is where interpretation welcomed itself, was I wrong? This album rather than talking about relationships with others, talks about the relationship with oneself – entirely a conversation in the mirror.  Or manifesting the mirror, through the continuous mantras that are exerted powerfully into the microphone. The repetitive preaching, to constantly remind oneself worth. For this mirror is inescapable, it surrounds the songs, forcing a cycle of internal reflection. A character who both adores and resents their very nature, it is confused. The successes of the group may have caused imposter syndrome, but they warrant their place in the charts. Jealousy heightens this notion if it were to be a conversation with the self. Two parts of the same conflicting endlessly.

‘I associate you with good things’, is exactly how I feel about Porridge Radio, as does the crowd, as the venue increases in heat, the spell of the sound bewitches the audience. Porridge Radio in their records and live shows offer an experience. One that suits the stage and the comforts of home listening. They are masterful in their ability to reveal common emotion and give them beauty even it its darkest of manifestations.

Listen to the album, and if you enjoy as I did, look into their next tour details.

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