Now on album number four, ‘Start The Party’, which hit stores less than a week ago, Welsh rockers The Blackout are a band that have constantly kept themselves in the spotlight of their fans and are now, apparently, ready to start the party. We’ll see if they can keep it coming up to the last date of their headline UK tour in Manchester.
Openers Proxies (**) seem a little uneasy with their surroundings at first, mainly with drummer Alex Binnington looking a little bored, but before long they soon get into the swing of things. It’s a shame however that it’s not until the closing few minutes of their set before we witness them truly out of their shell. Frontman Joseph Todd even jumps head first into the crowd. Not the most intense crowdsurf, but the effort should definitely be noted.
Locals Sonic Boom Six (***) pick up the pace from where Proxies left off dramatically, enciting the first few mosh pits of the night to the likes of ‘Virus’ and ‘For The Kids Of The Multiculture’. Their slight lean towards the increasingly popular dubstep genre in their more recent material goes down better than a game of pass the parcel at a child’s birthday party. Admittedly, the sound to begin with muffles all aspects of the band into one messy output, but a few songs into the set the Mancunian outfit leave the crowd sweaty and ready for the evening’s headliner.
As soon as the lights drop, the packed out crowd shriek and The Blackout (****) take centre stage. Straight away, the band open up with the title-track of their new album, ‘Start The Party’, and from here on out the party doesn’t stop. Frontmen Sean Smith and Gavin Butler shoot out confetti into the crowd, balloons drop from the side balcony’s and all this, along with the band’s popular and well-loved sing along chorus hooks, makes for an evening of fun. The thing with The Blackout is, even if you’re not too keen into the music, the band manage to offer some banter and comedy aspect mid songs. When taunted with a chant of “sheep shagger”, frontman Sean Smith replies with the crude but equally amusing “We fuck them, you eat them”.
Though their more ear friendly and pop tinged work as of late is what composes the most part of the band’s setlist, it’s the older work carrying their crunchy roots that impresses the most. It’s true, that when ‘I’m A Riot? You’re A Fucking Riot!’ rears its head, the oldest offering throughout the night, you can’t help but miss their more post-hardcore roots. Still, set closer ‘Save Ourselves (The Warning)’ and ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ are the songs which stick in your head hours after curfew.
Written by Zach Redrup