LIVE: The Blackout @ Club Academy, Manchester (12/04/2007)

Date: April 12th, 2007
Venue: Club Academy, Manchester
Support: Flood Of Red, Kids In Glass Houses


After a few months of no touring whatsoever, The Blackout are back out on the road again to do the thing they enjoy most – playing live! People are outside queuing a good two hours before the doors are due to open, not too bad at all. Upon arriving inside the venue everyone scatters across the floor, ready for what the bands on tonight’s bill are to throw at them.

First up is Flood Of Red, a local UK band that have started to rise in popularity these past few months. They deliver a barrage of guitars, gut-punching drum beats, and a range of melodic singing to deep growling from the band’s vocalists. One of the guitarists is bouncing around the whole time, like a little kid playing on his pogo stick having just opened it on Christmas morning. This band are clearly trying to get their name out there, in between their last few songs attempting to convince the crowd to go buy their shirts or their EP from the merch store at the back of the room. After playing through a short set consisting of songs like ‘Save The Kids’ and ‘Don’t Sleep, Swim!’, Flood Of Red take off, and some members retreat to the merch stall after thanking the crowd for their support.

A few more kids come from the back of the room to join in the fun, ready to see Kids In Glass Houses. They walk onstage with a short audio clip playing of a kid and their parent arguing about his loud music, before exclaiming “How do you like this?”; the band explode into their set. It’s unfortunate that this band are entertaining to watch only for a short while, with them losing their charisma and energy in just a few songs. But half of the people here aren’t bothered, they’re still singing along and getting involved with the band. A clear favourite of the crowd is ‘Kids, Kids, Kids’, which has become popular on MySpace recently. Almost every song is sung back to the band, a clear sign that they’re in the presence of some dedicated fans. During one song a guy in a red hoodie takes to the stage to help with dual vocals, this guy is none other than Sean Smith, vocalist of the headlining band The Blackout. This guest appearance reignites the energy in the room and everyone’s enjoying themselves again. A few songs later and Kids In Glass Houses are done, and leave the stage. Just in time for the main attraction for the night.

Now it’s time for The Blackout to have a go at entertaining tonight’s audience. Beginning their set with the track ‘I’m A Riot? You’re A Fucking Riot!’ the crowd reacts instantly, feeding off what is being fed to them from their amplifiers. Song after song the crowd just want more and more from these guys, at one stage the band even offer jokingly to play their whole set again, and the whole audience respond positivley. The band play new songs from their upcoming release, and a range of old ones such as ‘Hard Slammin’, ‘Fashion Conscious Suicide’ and ‘Go Burn City Hall To The Ground’. The crowd is loving every one of them, each song containing a crowsurfer here and there; even Sean Smith is hanging from pipes and poles on the ceiling, standing and jumping off the drum kit. This band have loads of energy in them, and they’re not down and out yet.

As before with Kids In Glass Houses having a guest singer, The Blackout ask the singer to join them onstage to sing ‘It’s High Tide Baby!’, originally sung with Ian Watkins of Lostprophets. Now with the combination of three vocalists, the song pulls at people’s heartstrings. There’s not one face in the crowd that doesn’t show that the money they paid for this show tonight was worth it.

After a few more songs in the band’s set, sharing jokes with the fans about going to their houses after the show, and hanging and swinging from different stage props around them, The Blackout exit the stage. The Welsh rockers have done it again, done what they enjoy to do most – play a good live show! In tonight’s case they have clearly succeeded.

Written by Zach Redrup