Live

LIVE: Jimmy Eat World @ Download Festival (15/06/2008)

Date: June 15th, 2008
Venue: Main Stage, Download Festival
Support: N/A
Rating: 7/10

 Website: www.jimmyeatworld.com
 MySpace: www.myspace.com/jimmyeatworld

 Jimmy Eat World profile

2008 is a wierd year for Download, who would ever have thought that Jimmy Eat World would have been playing the main stage playing just before the night’s headliners? Believe it or not it happened, and they did a good job.

With the band’s music being very poppy and not whiny, they’re more of an acceptable ’emo’ band with the Download festival, and during songs like ‘Pain’ and ‘Work’, the crowd is just jumping around and having themselves a good time, and some of them don’t even like the band. The songs that get things a little more pumped up are their chart-bothering hits ‘Salt, Sweat, Sugar’, ‘Sweetness’, and ‘The Middle’, with the lyrics being sung across the field from both the speakers and the spectators. The strange thing is even the band comment themselves on how baffled and honoured they are to play such as a high priority slot at such a legendary rock festival.

Though surprised Jimmy Eat World kept their cool and delivered a great show. Who knows? They might be playing next year’s festival, and at perhaps an even higher slot.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: New Found Glory @ Club Academy, Manchester (19/11/2008)

Date: November 19th, 2008
Venue: Club Academy, Manchester
Support: International Superheroes Of Hardcore, Me Vs. Hero

Rating: 8/10

Website: www.newfoundglory.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/newfoundglory

New Found Glory profile

It’s a very rare occasion where a largely established band, at a position where they can play venues not far from the size of theatres and be featured on highly popular alternative music festivals such as Give It A Name and Warped Tour, play a small club venue on a headlining tour holding a capacity of around 300 spectators at the very most. Well, New Found Glory go ahead with all of the above on November 19th 2008, playing at the Manchester Club Academy venue, two days before they’re due to play the much bigger Manchester Academy room.

If this still doesn’t sound too infrequent of an occasion for you, then how does the fact that the opening act is none other than New Found Glory‘s newly created parody side-project International Superheroes Of Hardcore (***). Their fast-paced and straight to the point hardcore punk sound is substantially different to that of the pop-punk nature from New Found Glory, opening the members up to write and display their other influences. The added humour factor into the band – such as calling themselves names like Captain Staightedge and Sgt. Soy, and writing songs about car safety – is just an extra benefit.

Due to the short back catalogue and length of songs at ISHC‘s disposal, local punk rockers Me Vs. Hero (****) are up for the interlude between the parody act and the big headliners. Their insatiable and delicious attack of fun powerpop and pop-punk fun with the odd burst of harsh hardcore vocal work makes Me Vs. Hero an exciting a worthy act for such an uncommon event. Songs like ‘Hand Me The Keys To The Massey’ and ‘Star Raiders And Space Invaders’ go down a treat with the crowd, even inciting the odd mosh pit or two. The boys even have heart and reason in their performance, respectfully dedicating ‘Upbeat Down’ to their recently departed guitarist Alex McCulloch (R.I.P.), and shedding off lots of natural energy in their performance for their friend.

Headliners New Found Glory (****) however completely blow things to another proportion when they announce that not only is this show highly limited for tickets and venue size, but that they’re playing an all requests show too. Throughout the night the fans are screaming (and even writing requests on paper and shoving it in the air) for the band to play their favourite songs. Songs like ‘Sincerely Me’, ‘Sucker’, and ‘Better Off Dead’ are requested and played, with the band blasting through song after song to get as many requests out there in the set time they’ve been given. Some of the band’s songs which were requested had been forgotten and had to be relearned again by the members there and then. Popular singles didn’t go amiss either, with ‘Dressed To Kill’ and ‘All Downhill From Here’ making appearances at some point, with every word screamed across the room from speakers and fans alike. One fan even got up onstage and offered to pay £50 for the band to play one song for them. If you weren’t even one keen on the pop-punk masters, then the banter inbetween songs is enough entertainment for an evening anyway.

People at this show have experienced something that’ll probably never happen again. The first UK appearance for International Superheroes Of Hardcore, an all request show by New Found Glory, and all in a small basement club environment.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: InnerPartySystem @ The Roadhouse, Manchester (09/10/2008)

Date: October 9th, 2008
Venue: The Roadhouse, Manchester
Support: My Emergency!, Furthest Drive Home

Rating: 7/10

Website: www.innerpartysystem.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/innerpartysystem

InnerPartySystem profile

Quickly putting themselves on the map and rising at a decent rate, InnerPartySystem are a group who are eager to get their name international by touring the UK after releasing their debut self-titled album. Tonight, they’re playing at The Roadhouse club in Manchester – definitely far from the biggest sized venue they’ve played at, but none the less it doesn’t mean the opportunity should be taken for granted.

Their combination of synth and electronics along with alternative rock isn’t a new one, but this doesn’t matter when InnerPartySystem (***) pull it off as well as they do. Though the club room isn’t huge, the place is pretty much packed, and though their stage isn’t huge they make the most of what they’ve got. The fans present are truly dedicated to their work, throwing back every word to the likes of ‘Heart Of Fire’ and ‘Die Tonight, Live Forever’ adding a great atmosphere to the show. The band have clearly practiced each song down tightly, with even minor flaws to a minimum, and the vocal work of Patrick Nissley with added effects and the guitar input from Kris Barman complimenting one another effectively. The stand-out moment from their whole performance however came with set closer ‘Don’t Stop’. Everyone in the room, even those who’d tagged along to the show a little unfamiliar with the band’s work were singing along to some of the lyrics, with the chorus “This is entertainment! Lies are entertainment!” filling every orifice of the club. If that weren’t enough, the band then became boisterous enough to crowd surf the front few rows of spectators in the closing moments of the track, despite the small size of the venue, bringing the show to an exciting and unexpected finish.

InnerPartySystem‘s show tonight just goes to show you that it may not be the biggest of venues where you play a show, but you can still make it a pretty big performance.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: In This Moment @ Academy 3, Manchester (15/04/2009)

Date: April 15th, 2009
Venue: Academy 3, Manchester
Support: N/A

Rating: 8/10

Website: www.inthismoment.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/inthismoment

In This Moment profile

Easily the heaviest band for the show tonight, In This Moment fronted by demonic vocalist Maria Brink bring their ‘shove-it-in-your-fucking-face’ metal, playing a selection of their heavier debut ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ and their slightly more melodic lastest effort ‘The Dream’ to a crowd that quite clearly most have arrived tonight for this band mainly. Making for the most intense and brutal of the evening, songs as easy for the ears as ‘Forever’ and ‘All For You’ are soon turned into pieces that are as blood-curdlingly heavy as ‘Prayers’, vocally especially with Maria‘s input, whilst dancing in her pink dress and shaking hands and thanking members of the crowd for turning up. Chris Howorth‘s guitar solos throughout just help in their intended transformation in trying – and almost succeeding – in making this night all about them.

With this being their first UK appearances, and a confirmed spot at this year’s Download Festival, it seems the only direction In This Moment are heading is upwards.

Written by Zach Redrup
Photo taken by Andy Squire 2009 © www.andysquire.net

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LIVE: Iglu & Hartly @ The Sugarmill, Stoke (24/09/2008)

Date: September 24th, 2008
Venue: The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent
Support: Two Door Cinema Club, Nick Harrison

Rating: 5/10

Website: www.igluandhartly.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/igluandhartly

Iglu & Hartly profile

It’s strange how some bands are far from the public eye one minute, and the next they’re entering the mainstream music charts and are known across the country. Iglu & Hartly are one upcoming band who have managed to accomplish the feat mentioned above, and have come to Stoke to show that they’re something to make a fuss about at The Sugarmill.

Three man band and an accomplice of an Apple Mac for drum beats and extra sounds is the formation of openers Two Door Cinema Club (**), producing a sound of indie with a dash of electronic. Though fairly unknown to the majority of the crowd, they manage to get a few members dancing along to their upbeat indie offerings.

Nick Harrison (*) on the other hand isn’t quite as much of a pleasure to watch perform. Though his ska/reggae-like take on indie today is one that doesn’t come across you often, Nick Harrison just seems to just come onstage and do his thing rather than appear like he enjoys it. The mainly static approach isn’t one that is a winner for attracting new fans, or in some cases maintaining current ones.

A crowd consisting mainly of teenage girls surges towards the stage like they were giving away cash, clearly showing how the popularity of Iglu & Hartly (***) has increased in the past few months. Right from the start, the band are sweating out energy in their stage presence, making good use of the stage room that they have available, and even venturing out into the crowd on one or two occasions. The band’s blend of pop, rap, indie, and even punk is a positive one, and has the audience jumping all night long, resulting in many sweaty fans as a consequence. When their latest single ‘In This City’ is finally played, the crowd size at the front seems to double in size, as people just want to join in on the fun this band are generating. Iglu & Hartly don’t seem to mind this one bit, and even allow over a dozen people on stage to dance and have fun alongside them for their closing song of the night.

Iglu & Hartly may well be a new name on the scene, but with the turnout and reaction of this show, they might even become a household name in a few short years. They were definitely welcomed and appreciated “in this city”… and surely many others out there.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Banned! Night @ Winnington Rec, Northwich (09/05/2008)

Date: May 9th, 2008
Venue: Winnington Rec, Northwich
Headliners: Minions Of Jeffrey
Support: I Left You For Summer, SFR

Rating: 7/10

Website: www.bannedinnorthwich.org
MySpace: www.myspace.com/bannedinnorthwich

Tonight at the weekly Banned! Night event, the amount of people in the crowd seems a little depleted than its usual intake of alternative music fans. Will this have an affect on the performance with the band’s tonight?

First band on the bill I Left You For Summer (****) from Holmes Chapel take to the stage, and start blitzing into their set almost immediately. The band may only have a few songs to present in their arsenal, and are still just a young band on the scene at the moment, but they execute each song with finesse. Frontman Rob Scrannage and bassist Nick Barlow are throwing themselves about both on and off the stage, with such hostility that at one point a member of the audience ran past with her hands over her head. Their set, consisting of ‘Redrum Is Murder Backwards’ and ‘Midnight In A Dream’, may have been a short-lived one, but one of energy and passion.

Next band up on the night’s schedule is SFR (***) from Cheshire, who weren’t quite as active and mobile as the previous act. Pretty new on the whole local Banned! Night gig scene, SFR performed just to make sure they get it out there, without making too many risky moves that could jeopardise this. Not the most exciting act to ever be on the stage, but by no means the worst either, making the few people that did go up to watch them play have a little dance and enjoy themselves.

Final band Minions Of Jeffrey (***) from Bolton looked a bit cramped onstage, and arguably a little uncomfortable with the small amount of space they had too, often hiding a few members behind others. Despite this, the eight-piece managed to play a set full of confidence and style with songs such as ‘M60 Ringroad’ and ‘The Witchdoctor’, combining the power of two trumpets into the alternative music approach to offer something tha’s not a regular occurrence in the halls of Winnington Rec. Frontmen Matt and Ste may have dressed in completely different outfits from one another (one in a suit and the other in a tracksuit), but with their level teamwork why would looks matter.

Regardless to the amount of people that showed up, the band’s that played were of a decent quality, and treated those who came along to the show. Let’s hope that next week a few more people don’t miss out.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Goo Goo Dolls @ Apollo, Manchester (11/07/2007)

Date: July 11th, 2007
Venue: Apollo, Manchester
Support: Kids In Glass Houses

Rating: 8/10

Website: www.googoodolls.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/googoodolls

Goo Goo Dolls profile

Support act Kids In Glass Houses have just finished their set, and in a few minutes it’s time for the rock veterans to come and close this Wednesday night in style. The Goo Goo Dolls have been going for just over 20 years now, and tonight they’re playing in the Manchester Carling Apollo.

It’s just gone 9:00PM, and suddenly everything turns to black. The stage lights shoot on, change colours, and flash like there’s no tomorrow. The James Bond theme tune switches on and the band jump to the stage through the lights and smoke. The crowd is screaming their lungs out, and with a set lasting over an hour, the band have got to keep their energy up if they want to leave tonight with a pleased audience.

They seem to be focussing their set mainly on their ‘Dizzy Up The Girl’ album, playing classics like ‘Slide’ which the audience sings right back at them. Bassist Robby Takac is pacing across the stage like a crazy man, and occasionally smacking at his strings like a drum kit, really showing his passion for the music and enjoying himself as much as possible.

The Goo Goo Dolls soon surprise the audience with a song that they claim they’ve never actually never played live before tonight’s gig, ‘Acoustic #3’, a soulful and moving piece that sends a smile onto the faces of most people within the audience. A few more songs into the set, with John Rzeznik and Robby Takac changing vocal duties here and there, the band play ‘Black Balloon’ where they have something special instore for the crowd. Once the song begins, several large black balloons are released onto the standing audience, which are knocked over onto the stage one after the other.

The night is coming towards an end soon, but not before the band play one of their most popular songs – ‘Iris’. Immediately the reaction from the audience is immense. People are cheering, screaming, and applauding like their lives depend upon it. Looks of astonishment come from JohnWritten by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Go:Audio @ Academy, Liverpool (27/11/2008)

Date: November 27th, 2008
Venue: Academy, Liverpool
Support: Tonight Is Goodbye, Sherwood

Rating: 6/10

Website: www.goaudioband.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/goaudioband

Go:Audio profile

Along with the likes of emo, screamo, and the endless list of ‘-core’ genres that have sprouted out from the underground music scene in recent years, pop-punk is another genre that has increased dramatically in popularity, and in turn resulting in the birth of many bands entering the mainstream. Go:Audio is just one of many who’ve followed the path mentioned above, and after a complete sell-out tour, and a venue upgrade in tonight’s instance, it seems nothing but success in front of the band’s eyes.

Seemingly in the early stages that Go:Audio were once in, Tonight Is Goodbye (***) have the potential of reaching the headliner’s level of success in just a short space of time. Admittedly not the most band ever, Tonight Is Goodbye none the less provide entertainment for all at a controlled level. Their indie touch upon a pop-punk-esque sound through songs like ‘Noughts And Crosses’, ‘Black Dress’ and ‘Brain’ gives enough evidence as to why the average age of the spectators is so young, but could easily please a much more mature crowd.

Being signed to MySpace Records, Sherwood (**) have instantly placed themselves into the field for attention from the younger generation of music fans and gig-goers. Sadly though this seems to be the only thing going for them that’s actually getting them the attention and sales and to stay in this scene. Sure, they may have sparked off the first moshpit of the night, inside it containing fans mainly under the age to buy alcohol, but to put it simply their show wasn’t far from being utterly dull. Rarely moving from the spot you’re standing doesn’t get many bands higher in the attention scale for the future, but it seems tonight audience doesn’t care to notice how underdeveloped of a live band Sherwood are, especially with them being this popular and how much experience they have under their belts.

The room almost doubles with occupants by the time Go:Audio (***) come along to redeem quality for the rest of the night. Keyboardist Joshua Wilkinson and guitarist Zack Wilkinson come on dressed almost like they’re younger than half of their paying audience tonight, but when you’re introduced to a barrage of screams this matters very little. The band lick off their backs pop-punk sing-a-long tracks like ‘Save Me Now’ and ‘So Quiet You Were’ to a crowd who no doubt play these songs over and over on their mp3 players and in their bedrooms. Though Go:Audio are most definitely not the craziest band to come from the UK, and should be a little more active and more of a spectacle considering their speeding popularity, it’s incredible how they’ve managed to sell-out an entire UK tour and have the ability to play with their audience like a ball of putty; all this with nothing but an EP and three singles under their belt. If this is possible, and they write decent songs to go along with it, then that’s a great success for any band or artist out there.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Go:Audio @ Download Festival (14/06/2008)

Date:June 14th, 2008
Venue: Gibson Stage, Download Festival
Support: N/A
Rating: 6/10

Website: www.goaudioband.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/goaudioband

Go:Audio profile

The second day of the Download Festival seems to generally deliver slightly more mainstream and currently more popular bands than the previous day. It’s Saturday, and there’s a downpour outside the Gibson Stage tent, but inside the crowd are sheltered from the rain, and are blessed with sunny and bright powerpop efforts from upcoming UK four-piece, Go:Audio.

The band members walk on one by one and are welcomed by a small cheer from the surprisingly large crowd, showing that this band have spread their name across the scene well in their time gaining radio and TV play. Though somewhat cheesey, the hooks laced in the band’s songs like previous single ‘Woodchuck’ get the audience singing back and involved. Their stage presence isn’t the most exciting, and the band need to develop more confidence onstage, but with keyboardist Josh Wilkinson dancing onstage and the band armed with track such as recent single ‘Made Up Stories’ and upcoming release ‘She Left Me’, their popularity is more than likely due to rise.

Definitley not a sort of band to traditionally grace the festival, and one that lack much confidence onstage, but one to watch out for in the future.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Banned! Night @ Winnington Rec, Northwich (07/09/2007)

Date: September 7th, 2007
Venue: Winnington Rec, Northwich
Headliners: Sex Radio
Support: Geneva’s Lab

Rating: 5/10

Website: www.bannedinnorthwich.org
MySpace: www.myspace.com/bannedinnorthwich

Friday night at Winnington Rec usually means one thing – Banned! Night. A night where the locals are invited to join in socialising and enjoying the local musical talents around the nearby Cheshire area. Geneva’s Lab and Sex Radio are the two bands that are having their turn today at trying to prove to everyone here tonight that they’re something to be talking about.

Geneva’s Lab (***) from Northwich is tonight’s opening act, with a sound similar to that of most modern punk rock bands. For a band that play songs the likes of Sum 41, Rancid, and Blink 182 would have been expected to perform they don’t quite have the edge that their genre of music usually comes along with. It seems they’re kind of missing an essential piece from their package that could make them rise from an average local band to a great local band. An interesting attempt, but could maybe use a little more time during rehearsal to give their live performances the extra kick that they need.

Geneva’s Lab clear up after their set, and after an interval that lasts about 25 minutes or so band number two hit the stage. Sex Radio (***) come to close this weeks Banned! event, and start their set with a surprising twist. Front man Chris appears to the stage half-naked, with nothing above his waist but a pair of rather large sunglasses. Going through their set it seems that Sex Radio know what they’re up to and have a particular style sorted out. It also seems they’re trying to create a new sound, combining a fusion of synth/electronica with a touch of rock. Nowadays this combination isn’t really all that new, especially with the likes of today’s bands of Panic! At The Disco, The Medic Droid, Klaxons, and Enter Shikari. However, this doesn’t mean their act wasn’t entertaining, with most of tonight’s crowd heading to the front to watch this band it proves they haven’t failed their job as entertainers.

Sex Radio soon wrap up their set, and Banned! Night is over again for another week. The local talent is always differing at Winnington Rec, and each time always has something different to offer. Let’s see what’s in store within the next few coming weeks.

Written by Zach Redrup

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