As I walked in I saw a sea/lake of teenage starstruck eyes walking around with sharpies getting autographs and every single band member on the bill really taking the time to make it happen. Every single band just happy to be there and humble as fuck, each band supporting each other as they played to the heart-aching crowd.
After a few introductions I took to my usual spot and waited for the first band to grace the stage.
A Mouthful of Matches, Manchester
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A local band to Manchester I believe! It's a good start. Some atmospheric shit starts playing through the PA as the band start twiddling and soaking it all up. If I'm perfectly honest the vocalist didn't have the best vocal but fuck me he knew how to work a crowd and for the first band on that was amazing to witness! It takes a special kind of frontman to be able to do that. And then I noticed a female guitarist and a female bassist proving to the music industry that talent comes from both sexes in what appears to be an incredibly cock heavy industry!
I'm talking tasty licks you can only really get from a '99' and groves that the '70's' woulda got naked for.
Speaking In Shadows, Nuneaton
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On they come, another atmospheric sample as they get ready to go! Then holy shit did they go! These guys are so tight! I would love to see them on a much larger stage they were like caged animals making the best of the room they had. The vocals were unbelievable if you ever wondered what wanking off an angel would sound like then this is it! I heard on the grapevine that the lead guitarist was a new member, well what an awesome addition, it's been a long time since I've heard a lead not get all fret wanky but still be able to create the right tone! It's safe to say that big things are to come from these guys.
Genuinely 5 real talented guys, I mean I wouldn't recommend booking them for weddings but shit I'd watch these guys week in week out.
Forty Four Hours, Manchester
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I'm just gonna start with saying it really wasn't their night! Technical error after error, touring really did a number on their equipment! They still went for it regardless, every single person in the room helping them through the set. Energy levels and smiles still high and a performance was still provided.
I will be catching these guys again as I don't believe that was a true representation of what they can do.
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Imagine if Brand New and Taking Back Sunday never had a fall out and they made love, well this is what would have been produced. Every inch of a rock and roll band. You've got your standard 5 guys, pretty as hell I swear they had to mop the front row!
Such a powerful opening but with a tenderness of the Incredible Hulk petting a butterfly without even damaging a wing. I hear they're gonna be featuring on the next big high school romcom 😉 this definitely has a feel of girl next door, heartbreak and teenage angst with a twist of adulthood. Song for song I honestly couldn't help smiling from ear to ear. This is what I wanted to hear, my expectations were met, and some!
I was stood there believing every word that was being sung, every note that was being played and every beat. A five piece so tight that if they were a female you'd wanna break the hymen.
Out comes the solo acoustic, spotlight comes on and he plays away in a very stereotypical way which is fully recognised by himself. He makes a few jibes at himself and then plays away. For about 3 and a half minutes the world stopped turning for every teenage girl across the globe and diaries were opened! No other word than beautiful would describe what had just happened.
It's no secret that I'm the biggest blink 182 fan on the planet and when I hear a cover of a blink track I shudder and feel embarrassed for them because it's something only they can do.......until now, a cover of dammit! Like you've never heard it before. It was mature, turned into their own with their own sound and style put into it and if they had released it I can honestly say the lads themselves would have wished they'd released it like that! But it wasn't and the original still stands as an anthem!
"We're Still Young Just Older Now" really stood out for me, I don't know if it's because I felt a personal connection to the lyrics or what but whilst we're on the subject of anthems, that's the big one for me!
So to sum it all up this was a very well balanced line up, everyone seemed to fit and genuinely support each other. Everyone was humble there's wasn't one arrogant 'I'm a rock star' cock floating around just 4 bands, mates, hanging out and doing their thing and having a real good time whilst doing it and that reflected off the stage like the fucking North Star.
Author: Jimmy Tinsley