Date: January 26th, 2014
Venue: Sound Control, Manchester
Support: Burn So Bright / The Cape Race / Hill Valley High
High on the recent release of their latest full-length ‘The Good Youth’ just less than a week ago, the hype for Cheshire rock outfit Blitz Kids is undoubtedly high and the Manchester date of their album release tour sees a packed out Sound Control. Depending upon how the night unfolds, this could be the start of something grand.
Whilst the crowd still slowly filter in, Hertfordshire openers Burn So Bright (**) begin proceedings with their alt rock cuts. Though the effort to put in a good show is definitely there, most notably with guitarist Shane Rawdon, who mid-set jumps into the middle of the crowd and thrashes himself a little, the punch they pack is still somewhat not all there.
Following up, local lads The Cape Race (****) push the bar much higher for tonight’s headliners to top. Though existing fans are minimal, about two to be exact from frontman David Moloney‘s call out, with a set of punk tinged rock future hits like ‘Home Truths’ and between song banter, these Mancunian newbies are definitely on the right path to making a significant name for themselves. Don’t be surprised if you see these guys much more through 2014.
Main support Hill Valley High (***) head over to the sweeter side of the pop-punk/pop-rock spectrum, toe dipping into areas akin to McFly and Son Of Dork, which makes sense when drummer Danny Hall is an ex-SOD member. Though songs like ‘Lifeline’ and ‘Move Closer’ do get a bit of crowd interaction, everyone seems a bit subdued. Maybe it’s because it’s a Sunday evening, or maybe they’re conserving their energy for the main act, but no matter how much frontman Phil Marsh begs for more, sadly the crowd don’t deliver. With a more energetic crowd, HvH may have revealed themselves to be a more interesting prospect.
Come the time for headliners Blitz Kids (****), the crowd burst into life and it finally starts to feel like you’re at a rock show. Though there’s a few stumbled starts to their set to begin with, things soon begin to take a turn for the better, and songs from their new full-length (which they play in full) such as ‘Title Fight’ and ‘Run For Cover’ see the crowd singing back almost every word.
However, it’s not until the closing one-two of ‘Warrior’ and ‘Never Die’ that Blitz Kids‘ impact really shows face. Throughout most of these set closers, the crowd sing louder than Joe James can, even with the backing of a PA system, and the smirk across guitarist Jono Yates‘ face when he takes out his ear plugs to really hear the crowd is evidence enough of the band’s appreciation for tonight. This is the start of what is easily going to be a fantastic year for Blitz Kids.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)