Date: October 4th, 2012
Venue: Academy 3, Manchester
Support: Blitz Kids / LostAlone
Aussie pop-punk quintet are back on the dirty, grey, broken bottle ridden shores of the UK, only this time round they are hosting their own headline tour. Having recently released their debut album ‘What Are You So Scared Of?’ officially in the UK, their British fans are no doubt eager to hear it live. Although the show hasn’t sold out, there are still many a fan queued outside the venue, all huddled together braving the cruel October weather.
Tonight’s openers are, as they describe themselves, “the bastard children of cold Northern England”: Blitz Kids (***). Now playing to an almost empty room is enough to shake anyone’s confidence, but Blitz Kids prevail. Admittedly, it was a somewhat shaky start, but as the room started to fill up they got into the flow of things and their sound went from strength to strength. By the end of their set, the band were high in their stride and songs such as ‘Warrior’ sounded great and were a treat to listen to.
Derby rockers LostAlone (****) seemed perhaps a little heavy as a support act for a pop-punk band, but their loveable onstage antics made them fit right in. Lead singer (and Noel Fielding look-a-like) Steven Battelle is not only an incredible guitarist, effortlessly playing speedy complicated solos and riffs, but he is also an excellent frontman. For example, the crowd was widely spread out (as it is with most gigs) with a lot of people (myself included) leaning against the walls and not really getting involved. So, Steven hops off the stage and escorts everyone to the front, creating an intimate and more gig-friendly atmosphere. It’s that kind of thing that makes a lasting impression on gig-goers and wins over the crowd. Their set was full of catchy, high-energy, bloody amazing songs which warmed up the crowd as well as recruiting some new fans in the process.
With the majority of the crowd congregated right in front of the stage, when Tonight Alive (****) bound on-stage and they are greeting with the screams and shouts of their excited fresh-faced fans. From the very off, TA are bouncing off the walls with energy, each member brimming with enthusiasm and joy. Lead singer Jenna McDougall has an excellent live voice and she manages to maintain its strength throughout the gig. Having had to support many bands in the past, they know how to please the crowd and they do just that by instigating circles pits and making sure the crowd is forever dancing and jumping around.
They also take advantage of their headline status by playing songs that they would never usually get to play, an example being their emotional number ‘Amelia’, which they played with the perfect amount of tender and grace. All in all, these feisty young pop-punkers put wonderful and thoroughly entreating evening, enhanced by the fact it was in an intimate venue with two great support acts.
Written by Andy Roberts