Aspiring to be a fundamentally good person is undervalued. The islands which constitute goodness – thoughtfulness, compassion, humility, enthusiasm, good humour – are all qualities we don’t necessarily disdain, but we don’t really champion them like we should. It’s easy to sardonically dismiss kindness and sincerity as saccharine or basic, but being kind and sincere, bluntly, enriches yourself and those around you. There are few bands whose music is as fundamentally good as Martha’s, and they make an animated point of championing goodness.

Having lived in Durham when Martha – who shout out their Durham home more than Jay Z shouts out New York – were beginning to make waves, I perennially associate them with my friend Paul. I’ve watched Martha across the UK from Newcastle to Brighton, and they are in fact the band I’ve seen most often live, but never without him. I can’t imagine going to a Martha show without him. It’s inconceivable. There’s a lyric in ‘Move To Durham And Never Leave’ – “Passing on the Fish Tank steps” – that references a pub we used to DJ at, and every show we scream it at each other, and it’d feel unnatural, eerie, to not have that moment. I guess everyone has a band whose shows act as an anticipated imprint in their year, a friendly flag in their Google Calendar, a fixed, edifying milestone while we ourselves change, grow, and age. Martha are mine.

Moth Club is the ideal venue for Martha, and they’ve played there before. Its low ceiling and glitter-speckled walls exalt the exuberance and chantalong ease of their scrappy pop punk. Their new songs sound as jumped-up and infectious as everything they’ve put out, with some killer harmonies and fluorescent guitar licks, but the crowd response to established triple-AAA rated bangers like ‘1967, I Miss You, I’m Lonely’, ‘Precarious (Supermarket Song)’, and my inevitably sentimental choice ‘Move To Durham And Never Leave,’ was utterly euphoric.

Martha write songs about millennialism without the affectation that label carries. They write songs about going to the pub worried about your zero hours job but infinitely more worried about your mate’s anxiety episodes. They write songs about treating transpeople like people not because of performative wokeness but because they’re people. They write songs about Newcastle being knocked out of the 2013 Europa League season by Benfica. If they have a through line, it’s trying to be a good person but understanding how challenging that can often be. This goodness aspiration emanated through Moth Club’s crowd, as it always does with Martha; boisterous without aggression, passionate without pretension, a collective smile, a cult of kindness.

Martha have got hooks and hugs, and you feel a better person for having spent time with them. Till next time.