Date: August 10th, 2010
Venue: The Roadhouse, Manchester
Support: Page Avenue, Forests, They Sink Ships
Website: None available
Just before setting off on their first ever headlining tour, disaster struck the Not Advised camp with vocalist Jim Thomas suffering from something with his larynx resulting in him not being able to sing throughout the whole tour. What are the chances, eh? Still, in good showman fashion, the band soldier on with the members collectively filling in his spot.
Manchester openers Page Avenue (*) are an acoustic driven three-piece, but any interest in the band comes from what are clearly local friends and fans there mainly just to see them. Why they do this besides holding a friendship with the members makes the mind boggle, as though the members can clearly play what they play is just boring and dismal. Their two covers; Underoath‘s ‘Reinventing Your Exit’ and A Day To Remember‘s track ‘If It Means A Lot’ are nothing more than naff to put it mildly.
Forests (**) follow-up, stating very early on in their set that what we’re witnessing is infact their fist ever live performance together. For their first live show they’re a fairly confident and outgoing group, keeping onstage energy pretty high and not letting stage fright nerves show too much. Yet just like their predecessors they just aren’t holding the attention of anyone aside from locals who are there solely for them, and though their music is good is just a bit all over the place, and ultimately not in fitting with the night’s bill.
It’s only when They Sink Ships (***) take their turn that it feels the gig has truely started off properly. Though crowd participation is more than terrible, the Hertfordshire grown 5-piece keep things strong through songs ‘Good As Gold’ and ‘Home Is Where You Make It’ with frontman Tom Dani consistently trying his best to get a few claps or some form of crowd involvement into proceedings. Their pop-punk/pop-rock offerings don’t seem to get them going though sadly, though They Sink Ships don’t let this affect their set.
At least when one-man-down headliners Not Advised (***) come onstage some fans shine their confidence and excitement through. Equipped with three guitarists as opposed to two and Ash Oliver filling in the boots of Jim Thomas for vocal duties, Not Advised are successfully making the best out of a bad situation. Though that added element of energy that comes with a vocalist with just the one sole duty isn’t there, fan favourites like ‘The A.R.K.’ and ‘A Red Light Situation’ still have that vibrant vibe and the strong sing-a-longs from the dedicated front row fans only backs this up. Closing with ‘The World’s Not Ready’, the gang chanting “I found a way to keep you coming, keep you coming back” seals the approval that though things looked bleak to begin with not all was lost.
Aside from the first two acts being a little unfitting and giving the evening a slow start, the biggest drawback of what could’ve been a more disasterous show was the lifeless crowd. They Sink Ships frontman Tom Dani said towards the end of their set “I’m gonna be honest Manchester, you’re dead this evening” and he couldn’t be more right. If the crowd were to get a rating, they’d be lucky to get anything higher than 1.
Written by Zach Redrup