Thursday, 23 June 2011


Next Stop Atlanta are a four piece pop punk band from Preston, Lancashire. Over the last 12 months they have made quite a name for themselves recording their debut EP with Matt O'Grady (You Me At Six/ The Blackout) and releasing a video for their single 'I'll Catch Fire (The Gift). The band has also been featured in this week's Kerrang magazine. New Kicks caught up with singer Georgia, guitarist/ vocalist Nik, bassist/ vocalist Blake and drummer Ant for a quick chat.

First of all, what’s new with you guys?

Nik: We have just confirmed the studio dates for recording our mini-album. That is pretty exciting. We are recording it with Dan Lancaster (Don Broco/ We are the Ocean) and we can not wait to get in the studio.

Georgia: We are preparing for tour next  month (July 24th - 28th) and demoing more songs for the mini-album. Expect a few demos to make it online in the meantime. 

Ant: Also, today we were featured in Kerrang! magazine, that was cool. Can I mention Kerrang!?!

What’s the history behind NSA? How did you meet?…

Blake: We are all friends and musicians from Preston. Me and Nik had been in bands together for a few years. Nik and I were keen to work with Anthony and Georgia because they were already good friends and great musicians. When mine and Nik's old band faded out we approached Anthony and Georgia about starting Next Stop Atlanta.
Ant: The name came about after a few rehearsals. We all agreed with Next Stop Atlanta as Atlanta is in Georgia. Seemed very fitting.

…And what inspired you to start a band?

Nik: We all wanted to write honest, melodic pop rock music with the view of being our own favourite band.
Georgia: I started out as a solo artist, so to come in and work with the guys in a band environment was very exciting. Everything clicked straight away. It's almost like we were destined to start this band. We have gone from strength to strength and have not looked back! 

What’s the song writing process like in NSA?

Blake: Usually what happens is Nik will loosely write a song with a basic structure. We then all give our input musically and lyrically in the rehearsal room tweaking the song until we are all happy with it. On occasion, we will write an entire song from scratch in the rehearsal room. That way we all have creative input from the start. 

What sort of thing inspires you to write? Are you songs generally about similar things?

Georgia: We keep it varied. We write about current affairs, relationships, hot topics, politics. Anything that grabs our attention or we feel passionate about. 

What was it like recording with Matt O’Grady?
Nik: It was great, a real eye opener. Matt is a good guy. He was professional and dedicated to delivering the best he could and bringing out the best in us. 
Blake: We will surely work with him again in the future!

How did you find making the video for ‘I‘ll Catch Fire (The Gift)’? And how did you come up with the concept? I imagine that was pretty exciting?

Georgia: It was brilliant to do! It was our first experience of shooting a music video so we were nervous and excited at the same time.

Ant: We wanted a simple concept that would be easy to translate. I feel we achieved that. It was a great experience. I can not wait to do more!

What has been your favourite gig so far?

Nik: I always enjoy playing shows in Liverpool. We have a good following there and the people are always welcoming.

Georgia: My favourite gig was not so long ago when we played the final of the 'Fylde's Got Talent' competition. We won the competition and as a result, are supporting Status Quo on August 5th at Lytham Proms. It was a great night and great show!

Ant: On our first tour we played Coventry (Kasbah). It is a fantastic venue with brilliant owners and staff. Seeing the fans pressed up against the barrier singing our songs back to us is amazing... Coventry did not disappoint.
Blake: I loved playing our EP release show at Mad Ferret in Preston. Awesome night. 

What do you love the most about being in NSA?

Georgia: Writing and playing music with my best friends. Sharing the experiences and visiting new places. I am proud of what we have achieved and the direction we are taking this band. I love it, its amazing!
Nik/ Ant/ Blake: Exactly what Georgia said!

Finally, do you have any upcoming shows you’d like to let people know about?

Blake: We head out on tour with a great band called Kid's Can't Fly from July 24th - 28th. Full dates will be announced over the next week!

Nik: We also have the show with Status Quo at Lytham Proms on August 5th!


Tuesday, 21 June 2011


Sound Control/ The Retro Bar
The Cape Race

Sunday night was quite a predicament for me because there was not only one brilliant gig on in Manchester, but two. The solution? Go to both.

Gig number one was at Sound Control, a relatively new live music venue which I’ve only recently discovered. Held in the smaller of several rooms, tonight’s gig was a last minute “secret” show put together by ever growing Manchester promoter, Pop, Bubble, Rock.

Unfortunately I missed the first band but got there just in time for Ghost Saddles. This band is the new project of The Maple State’s Greg. The music was definitely heartfelt and in the vein of Brand New and The Smiths. Perfect Sunday evening music but I couldn’t help but wish the whole thing was a little livelier. 

Next Stop Atlanta
Next up was The Cape Race. The one thing this band cannot be accused of is a dull live show. If you want crowd interaction and catchy sing along choruses then this is your band. The Cape Race seem to be going from strength to strength in anticipation of their debut album, Now, Voyager. 

Highlights of their set included first single ‘They’re Young, They’re in Love’ (I’m pretty sure at least seventy per cent of the crowd were singing along to this) and upcoming single, The Reprieve. 

After The Cape Race we made our way over to the Retro Bar for gig number two. As we walked downstairs we could hear something very promising and when we got inside sure enough there was an awesome pop punk band called Next Stop Atlanta rocking the stage. 

The atmosphere at this gig was altogether more energetic than gig number one and this band really drew you in. The fact that their singer was wearing a Katy Perry t shirt wasn’t even the best part about Next Stop Atlanta. (Honestly, their guitarist had an Alan Partridge/ The Starting Line one on) Their songs were bouncy and fun and in the vein of Hey Monday. They introduced us to the show very nicely. 

Save Your Breath
Next up were headliners Save Your Breath. Unbelievably I’d never heard them before but as soon as they opened their set I knew that I would love them. Mixing pop punk sensibilities with slightly heavier riffs, their overall sound was like The Wonder Years having a punch up with Polar Bear Club. 

The crowd were well into it and despite being few in numbers, made up for it in singing and fist pumping. Save Your Breath are definitely the kind of band you need to see live and The Retro Bar is the perfect venue for their pop punk sounds. 

The intimacy of the venue made it a special show but the band proved their worth with the power of their songs. Check out this band if you get the chance.


Saturday, 28 May 2011


Queens of the Stone Age
Saturday 21st
Manchester Academy

Queens of the Stone Age UK tour dates are rarer than apocalypse predictions, so as soon as tickets were released a few months back I snapped some up. The fact they were playing The Academy only heighted the excitement; I wasn’t sure a sound as big as that would even fit in there. Touring to support their remastered eponymous first album, the band would be playing the record from start to finish. All this together makes for a pretty volatile package for QOTSA fan.

In support were The Dough Rollers, a band I’ve never heard of and had more than a little trouble finding anything about afterwards. But what a sound. Think rockabilly music with some of the darkness of desert rock. These guys put on one hell of a show, throw back in style without ever being trite. And the crowd in turn gave them a much warmer reception than any support band could usually hope for. Only let down by some messy sound mixing, The Dough Rollers really got things, er, moving.

A little late on stage, QOTSA didn’t even say a word before launching into the first track, Regular John. This song sums up pretty well what the first album was about, an all dominating wall of sound, dark and peculiar tonal shifts and one chord rifts that you WILL listen to for several minutes. I swear I have never heard a better opener to a gig. As the lights silhouetted the Homme and co., the bass enveloped me and vibrated up my legs, I wondered briefly if this might be the rapture after all.

The album starts out very strongly, and so did the band. Avon and If Only seemed only further bolstered by being performed live, Avon especially threatening to steal the show for itself. But, as the album starts to lose a little something half way in, the band did too. Standout album track You Would Know didn’t translate so well to the performance, and it seemed like the loss of focus carried over to the songs following it. But after muddling around for a while, Hispanic Impressions, a daft instrumental track, seem to get everything in place again. With one of the B-sides from the rerelease and a little shifting of the track order, the album thundered to a closed. That was fantastic, but was that it?

It wasn’t. The second half of the gig served as a greatest hits session, featuring many of the bands singles, although missing out what are probably their biggest hitters. But for a crowd who’d come to hear the first album, this wasn’t a problem. Overall a colossal performance was delivered; maybe when you know what a bands going to play next a bit of excitement is lost, but the second half made up for this in spades. It only really begs one question- after a bit of a break and rest, what are QOTSA cooking up for us next?


Monday, 23 May 2011


Taking Back Sunday
Camden Roundhouse 

‘Cute Without the ‘E’’ is a massively appropriate opener for tonight’s Camden Roundhouse show. This particular song represents a time in Taking Back Sunday’s career when they were largely unknown. A time before this song would hurl them into the bedrooms of millions of teenagers worldwide becoming the soundtrack to their collective heartbreak.  

The significance of this period is more relevant now than ever, as it’s the first time in eight years that the band has performed with its original line up. John Nolan, arguably responsible for the angsty sound of Taking Back Sunday has resumed his place as songwriter/guitarist. 

Taking Back Sunday have gone through many progressions in the years since Nolan’s departure, yet three albums later it’s like he’s never been away. The band are visibly excited by tonight’s London show and as they bounce through a set of songs representative of their entire career, they do not brush over their messy history. 

‘Liar (It Takes One To Know One)’, ‘Bike Scene’, and ‘180 By Summer’ are contextually worlds apart yet they’re played tonight with such vigour that even someone ignorant of the band’s history would assume they were all personal to each and every band member. 

It’s this embracing of past hardships that makes tonight’s show so special. Singer Adam Lazzara even jokes, “Just don’t leave again…” before being handed an acoustic guitar to accompany Nolan in a rendition of Straylight Run’s ‘Existentialism on Prom Night’. And in the same way, Nolan’s contribution to songs written without him (particularly ‘A Decade Under the Influence‘ and ‘MakeDamnSure‘) shows nothing but passion.  

It’s fair to say that without the coming and going of members such as Fred Mascherino, Taking Back Sunday wouldn’t be the band they are today. But what’s obvious to everyone tonight is that they are now truly back to their best. Despite a set heavily focused on debut, Tell All Your Friends, new songs promise to show a more mature and progressive Taking Back Sunday.


Monday, 2 May 2011


Friday 22/4/11

Being the lazy, sleepy type, I didn't see any bands until 3pm. Admittedly, they didn't start 'til 1, but that's hardly the point. If you're going to start a festival slightly late in the day however, Rufio are a brilliant band to begin with. The mainstage is relatively full for their set, opening with 'Science Fiction' and power-popping its way through to closer 'Angel Above Me'. Never having been a particularly big fan, I wasn't a real part of the mass singalongs and the incredible amount of bromance around me (a recurring event over the weekend I can assure you), but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself. Rufio are a solid live band, with great personality and catchy songs.

 After running (literally) to the second stage, it was time for Twin Atlantic. I love this band. A lot. They didn't disappoint, playing a fair few songs from upcoming album 'Free', including the wonderful title track, interspersed with classics from previous album 'Vivarium'. The tent was far from full, but the enthusiasm of the people pushing into the front half of the crowd more than made up for it.

 After a two hour break it was time for the set I was probably most excited about all weekend - Thursday playing their classic album 'Full Collapse' in its entirety. The second stage tent was full to bursting, everyone crowding in to hide from the inexplicable heavy rain storms which were breaking up the otherwise lovely weather and eager to see a masterpiece recreated onstage. The energy of the crowd, and the band, never faltered, from the opening notes of 'Understanding In A Car Crash'. The pace really picks up midway through the set however, as Rickly and his cohorts launch into 'Autobiography of a Nation' and a pit breaks out to rival anything else I'd see over the whole weekend, on the second stage at least. By the time they finish, crooning the end of 'How Long Is The Night', everyone leaves with a grin plastered across their face.
From Thursday I moved over to the third stage for the first time, a tiny tent with no barrier which seems the perfect setting for Cancer Bats. Another band I've never really counted myself a fan of, but the crowd reaction adds another dimension to their admittedly exciting live show.

 Returning to the second stage, it was finally time to see one of my favourite bands of all time for the first time since September. Every Time I Die's first show of 2011 picks up much where they left off last year, with high energy and humour propelling a set filled with the best of four of their albums (as usual, 'Last Night In Town' goes unrepresented). It's hardly shocking that 'Bored Stiff' and 'The New Black' are among the best-received songs, but I can't help wishing that the crowd had been a little more enthusiastic - an ETID party is nothing if you're the only one losing your mind.

 With the excitement of ETID over with, I wandered over to the main stage for the end of the evening. Hatebreed play to a packed tent, with pits breaking out all over the place and people moshing their way in to the tent as their set begins. It's quite a sight to see from the back, with the crowd shots on the big screen revealing just how crazy the front half of the tent really is. As always, they play a good mix of old and new, encouraging their fans to look after each other in the pit and shout along. Loudly.

To end a day of sun, rain, friends and alcohol, who better than Flogging Molly? Everyone dances, everyone sings, and everyone pours themselves back into their tents to get some much needed sleep before the early start on Saturday.
Saturday 23/4/11

Saturday presented my biggest issue with the whole weekend. There were FAR too many clashes, with nearly every band I wanted to see beginning before the end of each other. Equally frustrating was the crowd distribution - the main stage was empty for most of the day, with the exception of Goldfinger, and boysetsfire onwards, whilst the second and third stage were full to overflow almost all day.

 All this aside, Dead To Me did a good job of waking up the tired and hungover few who made it to the mainstage by 11am. Squeezing a frankly ridiculous number of songs into a half-hour set, they are lively and entertaining. After wandering between bands for a little while (catching some of Blacklist Royals and Gravemaker, and enjoying the hospitality of Epitaph in the process), I returned to the mainstage for the wonderful Piebald. Whilst it is a shame to see such a brilliant band playing to so small a crowd, they hardly seem to have noticed it themselves. With crowd favourite 'American Hearts' early in the set, they sound great and seem to really be enjoying being back onstage together.

Next up were Dear Landlord, playing to an overflowing third stage who hung on their every word and rarely left the stage unpopulated for a moment. With little banter and a lot of songs, their live show is absolutely stunning.

 I wish I could say the same for Sugarcult, a band I've loved for a long time. Admittedly the sound doesn't do them any favours, and the mainstage is sparsely populated once again, but it really felt that something was lacking from their show. All the classics were there however, and the singalong to 'Bouncing Off The Walls' was beautiful.

 After a quick food break during Goldfinger (I know, I know), it was time for the second Thursday set of the weekend, a chance for the band to showcase tracks from their stunning new album 'No Devolucion'. Clearly the fact that the set had been advertised as such had driven away a great many of the fans who had watched 'Full Collapse' so enthusiastically, but once again the band rises above it and plays a stunningly energetic and moving set of old and new, which hits a high point with the insanity of 'At This Velocity'.

Relaxing in the sun outside the third stage, I 'saw' No Trigger, another band who were met with an overflow of people too great to fit in to the tent. Their sound is good, the energy is impressive, but the lacklustre response to new material is noticeable even from outside.

 Back at the mainstage, now beginning to fill up rather nicely, boysetsfire return to music with a bang. Despite missing my personal favourite song, 'After The Eulogy', there is little to fault with their performance, and 'Requiem' is a highlight of the weekend.

 It's been clear all weekend that there are two bands everyone is really excited for - one is tonight's headliners, NOFX, and the other is The Descendents. Playing a rare live show, they treat the rowdy masses to an hour of non-stop hits and faultless performance.

By contrast, Saves The Day is a relatively civilised affair. The second stage is verging towards emptiness, but the few who are crowded together at the barrier are clearly passionate. New tracks get a lukewarm reaction, but the hits are never far away. From 'Firefly' to 'At Your Funeral' via 'Freakish', it's a nice way to spend an hour if nothing else.

Despite being only seconds away from the third stage and being there a good ten minutes before they're due on, we don't have a chance of making it inside the tent for H2O. Every inch of space is filled, and the rows of people outside are crammed tightly together as they try to see it. A typical set, the crowd go wild for everything from '1995' to 'Guilty By Association', but it is closer 'What Happened?' which sees a mass stage invasion and singalongs spreading back to back row outside in the rain.

I won't lie - I watched three songs of NOFX and hated it. I'm not a fan, and their sense of humour doesn't appeal me. So really, my weekend ended at H2O, and I am more than OK with that.


Monday, 25 April 2011

Album Review: Yuck

Album: Yuck
Band: Yuck
When I was very much younger, a compilation album was released unironically titled “Danger Zone”. The TV spot had lots of images of extreme sports and jet skis and most of all, Blur’s Song 2 playing over the top. But as all the cool kids know, the best songs on any compilation album are actually on disc two. And it was there I discovered my love for Dinosaur Jr, and all their alt rock, grungy goodness. For a couple of years now people have been talking about a grunge revival, and with Yuck being likened to Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth, I started to wonder if I should be paying attention.

First track, and first impressions were good. “Get Away”, recently released as a single, is everything you’d want in a grunge record. Straight in with a fuzzy wall of guitar, dissonant riffs and angsty lyrics. Second track “The Wall” has definitely cropped up on the radio and in shops. It’s upbeat and catchy, but instantly recognisable. Overall a good piece of fun. So far, so good.

But as you get further into the album, a nagging doubt starts to build. Sure, this song is pondering along nicely, but, what did the last track sound like again? From a strong start, the album increasingly becomes dominated by gentle, self-interested songs. It’s not that the louder rock music isn’t on there, it’s just much of it feels almost like rock by numbers. Riff, lyrics. Other riff, other lyrics. And while some of the quieter songs are attractive and interesting, as many are frustratingly twee.

There are other stand out songs. “Georgia” sounds like being a teenager, and is a great sing along to boot. And the final track, “Rubber” is a refreshing change of pace, which is strange, as it’s noisy and slow and hypnotic. It’s like the band suddenly realised that if you’re gonna write boring songs, you should do it properly- with the fuzzy on 11, starting straight at your feet.

A cynical part of me believes Yuck have been picked up and promoted because the boy/girl vocals, and the quiet, pretty songs bare some resemblance to The XX, and some clever person has smelt money around them. There’s definitely more to them than that, but it just doesn’t pan out quite as nicely as you’d hope. There’s something good to listen to here, but something a little disappointing too.


Thursday, 21 April 2011


The Swellers are an American punk rock band from Flint, Michigan. With an increasing list of support slots, gigs and festivals and a melodic pop punk sound, they're slowly but surely gaining popularity. We caught up with vocalist and guitarist, Nick Diener for a chat about what it was like recording with Bill Stevenson, constant touring and what we can expect from The Swellers in the near future...
We hear you're recording the new album right now. How is this going?
We just finished the new record right before we flew over to the UK. Spent almost a month at the Blasting Room and definitely created something awesome. We're proud.
How does it feel to be recording with Bill Stevenson and do you feel you've learnt a lot from him?
Bill pushed us to be the best musicians we could possibly be. He got the best vocal takes out of me that I've ever done, and we made sure to get the best product possible without cheating. There are lots of tricks you can use in the studio to make your record sound big and modern but our record is very real. Bill is also one of our favorite drummers/songwriters so we really valued his input and style.
What can we expect from the new album?
Some really great, timeless songs that we'll enjoy playing for years to come, and lots of touring!
Are there any key themes running through it? What are the kinds of things you usually write about?
Every record changes a bit. We get older and experience more/ new things. This record is a lot more introverted, dealing with things on a more personal level, tells stories a little bit better and is even more optimistic at times. The process of growing up and learning is always a big part in many of our songs, though.
How does the songwriting process work for The Swellers? Does one person write music, and another write lyrics or do you do it together?
Myself and my brother, Jonathan, the drummer both write. I tend to write most of the music and Jonathan helps me out with probably half of the lyrics and a lot of the concepts and other ideas. We're a great team and have been playing together for 14 years, so the chemistry feels pretty good.
How was the reception to Ups and Downsizing?
It was cool releasing it in the states because the reception was really positive and warm. We released it later in the UK and it felt like we put out a new album and got new reviews all over again, so we felt pretty productive. Very happy that people dig the album!
Do you like coming to the UK to play shows and if so how does it differ from shows in the US?
We love it. The fans here are more receptive because they understand we traveled a long way to be here. It's comforting and exciting. Also, the drives are much shorter, so we have more time to relax and don't get too worn out in the van.
What are the best and worst things about touring for you?
The best part is that I get paid for playing my guitar. Not many people get to do that. The worst part is that I have an empty house in Michigan for which I pay rent, and never really get to live there. It's also heartbreaking leaving our girlfriends and families behind for so many days out of the year.
Am I right in thinking that a couple of you are vegan? Do you find it hard to find good food when you're on tour?
In the states it's really easy. In the UK and Europe, it can be pretty difficult. Hasn't really caught on as well here. But I basically survive on veggie curries, veggie burgers, cheeseless pizza and chips. Once in a while we'll run into a vegan restaurant and have a good time. Wagamama's is also pretty solid for vegans.
Do you plan on doing a headlining tour? And if so would that come to the UK?
I hope so, too. No plans right now, but we'd like to. We're gonna try to come to the UK at least twice a year.
What's your hometown like for music? Did you find it easy to get shows there when you first started playing?
When we first started playing in 2002, yes. There was a local venue that was really thriving and awesome, despite the town (Flint, MI) being a ghost town. Amazing music scene. But then the venue closed down due to lots of problems and the music scene is no more. There are talks of the venue re-opening, though, and we're all pretty excited about that and plan to be involved.
You've played with some impressive bands, which tours have been favourites and what makes a good tour?
Good tour consists of good people in the bands, good crew, people being on time, and the music being listenable. We had a lot of fun on tour with Motion City Soundtrack, Paramore, our boys in A Wilhelm Scream and Less Than Jake. The list is endless. We befriend nearly every band we tour with.
Which are your favourite songs to play at shows and why?
I like playing all of them. I just like to play. The songs where the kids sing along the most are the best ones, though. That varies all over the world. We don't have 'hits', but I think we've written a lot of good songs, so it's nice to have a good list from which to choose.
Who are your main musical influences as a band? Do you all have similar tastes?
Our tastes all vary quite a bit but it's safe to say we all got into punk rock and bands like Nirvana around the same time, which made us decide we all wanted to be in bands. Some of my main influences are Weezer, No Use For A Name, The Get Up Kids and Jimmy Eat World.
What can we expect from The Swellers for the rest of 2011?
New record, touring around the world, and bad gas.


Manchester Orchestra
14th April 2011
Considering the last time I was in this venue, there was sweat dripping off the walls and almost everyone in the room seemed to be drugged up to the eyeballs, tonight’s rock affair seemed to transform it into a totally different place.

The first and only support band, Life In Film were something different. All dressed up like an indie band can, their sound was something spectacular. Although the sound wasn’t great, and I could hear the people on the other side of the room better than the band, the lead singer’s voice was magical, and had something of a Kings of Leon drawl and tone to it. For a band that good it is surprising they are still so underground, and, no offence to the sold out gig, but not supporting someone bigger in more commercial venues.

Manchester Orchestra are a band that are magical to listen to, emotion and lyrically bursting, but yet when you see them live the songs are experienced in such a different way yet the emotion and power of them seems even more raw. Highlights of the set included a Weezer rendition (Buddy Holly) when trying to tune their guitars and a song called 50 Cent, funnily enough all about 50 Cent and how he should work with them. I guess the band’s own songs were magical too, Wolves at Night, I’ve got Friends and Colly Strings, but the request session during their super quick encore was a bit disappointing as they couldn’t play any of the songs that were suggested! It was more a ‘this venue has a tight curfew lets cram in 16 songs without stopping’ gig, but that worked, it worked with their sound, the atmosphere and it built excitement. Next time they come over they should learn the words to their own songs and surprise us with ‘I can feel a hot one’.



The Blackout
Koko Camden
12th April 2010

An exceptional night of music. A brash statement but there was such a variety of things going on it was like being at a festival and just taking a cross section through the line up for the line up of this gig tonight.

Now call me a cynic (no, really, do) but it does seem like the in thing right now for slightly ‘harder’ bands to alter their image by singing with a rap artist, and not only have the Blackout done this, but said artist has accompanied them on tour as first support too. Not looking to enjoy it I found my pessimistic self blown out the water by a need to dance, I didn’t know the words, I sure as hell recognised some of the samples and suddenly I realised, this guy was cool. Not that I have any authority to tell you what’s cool, being at a gig surrounded by 15 year olds, but this guy isn’t just your every day rapper. Hyro Da Hero’s influences are purely rock, yet he gives them a magnificent hip hop spin. I was overwhelmed to say the least, and with Mr Sean Smith of the Blackout fame coming on to join in with a song (too ignorant to work out which it was, sorry) it was an epic performance. Headliner worthy.

Second band, also from the States, was The Swellers. Now I really enjoyed their set, full of old and brand new songs, the only qualm is that they’re nothing new, nothing special but hey, I like what I like, especially when it’s good. They could have done with a bit more crowd interaction to give themselves some more stage presence, but there was nothing wrong with their set, it was very entertaining.

Lastly the Blackout took the stage. I suddenly felt like I’d been transported to the MEN to see McFly with the rapturous applause and girly screams emitting from aforementioned 15 year olds mouths. But, once again the boys from Merthyr Tydfill put on an exceptional show. Considering they’d just been on tour with Limp Bizkit, I half expected a cover to break the arrogant mood of the night, but alas none came. They played a clever set though, so much crowd participation, an impromptu Q&A session live on stage and a thorough mix of songs from ‘back in the day’ and the latest album. The reaction of the crowd said it all really, excitement, arm waving and participation in their overdone gag of getting everyone to sit down before the ‘brutal breakdown’ post encore. I cant fault them though, Higher and Higher was accompanied by Hyro da Hero, The Best In Town accompanied by a lot of singalongs and ‘I’M A RIOT’ accompanied by a ‘circle of death’*. A great gig all in all.

*I actually overheard an obvious first time gig goer say ‘Is a circle of death where the emos stand in a circle and kill themselves?’