Twin Atlantic – O2 Forum Kentish Town 12/10 Support: Pulled Apart By Horses & Fangclub

After Birmingham I was confused to say the least, and actually opted to not queue and instead hang out in a pub with other people who were going to the gig, until doors. Might not seem like a big deal, but it is to me. And says a lot about how I felt after the Birmingham show. Also I’d promised to bring on the moshpit, especially during Missing Link so the no queuing thing was on.

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(this shot could have been so damn good, but noo, be blurry by all means)

And it was great, actually. Had such a good time with everyone and even avoided feeling stressed (how, I shall never know). We ended up middle/left as per, and around 2nd and 3rd row so all was well. Rocked out to Fangclub again, dubbed by Jamie simply as Nirvana, and I can see why. Me, I agree but not to the point where I don’t think they don’t have their own style, in my opinion they’re rocking it their own way. That said, I’ve never been one to listen to Nirvana, so what do I know, really? Still very much in love with the fact that Twin Atlantic brought actual rock bands on tour, not that they haven’t had good support acts before. But with Fangclub and Pulled Apart By Horses it really ties in so well with the new album.

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Pulled Apart By Horses once again pulled off a smashing show, the singer jumping into the audience for the last song like the day before. The Twin fans didn’t seem quite sure how to handle it, but it definitely got a better reaction in London than in Birmingham. He ended it beautifully by throwing up all over front row while trying to get back over the barrier and get up on stage. See, another reason why second row has it’s advantages.

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Twin Atlantic played the same set as the day before, no surprise there. The whole experience though, was so much better this night. The sound was still not the loud, gritty rock I was hoping for, but it definitely sounded better in the Forum. The audience was a lot more involved as well and I rocked out like mad the whole show through. Me and Danielle was surely a sight to see, especially during Missing Link when we were even more inconspicuous, due to almost no other people moving AT ALL. It’s a GREAT moshpit song peeps, come on.
“I saw you rocking out a lot.”
“We were drunk.” (Excuse me Danielle, I headbang that much regardless)
“Yeah I assumed that.”
…le sigh.

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After the show I ended up spending two hours on a hostel floor before taking the first train home and let me tell you, I was not very on it at the lectures the day after. But I DID attend them! Also I dropped my phone in a loo for the second time, and twice was apparently too much for it. Hence no photos from Portsmouth, though I’ve borrowed some from the wonderful Claire.

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Twin Atlantic – O2 Institute, Birmingham 11/10 Support: Pulled Apart By Horses & Fangclub

Look at me, not even a few weeks into gigs and already falling behind, I won’t let that stop me this time though, even if the posts end up a bit late (wish me extra luck with this when it’s time for the next leg of the Twin tour please).

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My Megabus was, surprise, running late to Birmingham, so I had extra queue stress even if I’m sure I didn’t really need it. Went directly to the venue and joined the people already sitting there, hellooo mah French gangstas! Went to the hostel after a bit and had a not so good moment when I couldn’t find my reservation – and they also couldn’t find any booking in my name, but it turned out I’d just accidentally deleted the email and they were looking under the wrong name. Everything sorted out, I got ready and back to the queue I went. Had a gourmet dinner consisting of Greggs and doors were about as stressful as usual…

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Managed barrier though and had a great time discovering Fangclub (first support) and rediscovering Pulled Apart By Horses (main support). Both bands are heavy and grunge-y, perfect for a tour of Twin Atlantics latest album GLA. Setting the scene for some gritty rock n roll. Both support acts had great sound too, not something you’re always treated too.

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So it was to my great surprise that Twin Atlantic came out on stage and were… flat. Not bad sound by any means, but it was more like listening to a CD in your home than being at a live show. Neither the volume or the punch expected. I’m aware they don’t really have any monitor sound and being barrier was probably a worse experience than being further back, but that said I’ve seen them from front row before and this was by far the least exciting time.

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The setlist was good (well), I’ll always be a sucker for a bit of Vivarium and with both Human After All and Lightspeed I was a happy little clam. Not at all as much from the new album as I expected, but Missing Link was very welcome. A few of the songs, both from Free and Great Divide, felt superfluous however, and I question the choice of songs considering the overall feel of GLA. It needs more Ghost of Eddie and less Make A Beast Of Myself. More Actions That Echo and less Brothers and Sisters. And for me of course, just more GLA. But, I’ll happily look forward to future tours for more songs and different setlists.

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Overall it was a strange, quiet gig, very much so from the audience (come on and MOVE people) and from the stage as well. A negative circle of the audience not getting enough live punch and the band not getting any response from the audience? Possibly. All I know is that it got a lot, A LOT better on subsequent dates.

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After the gig we hung around for a bit, great chats with Danielle and so lovely to meet Carla again! Went to the hostel and a very, very good sleep, just not enough as usual. London up next!

Augustines – Concorde 2, Brighton 16/10 + Kentish Town Forum, London 18/10 Support: Fatherson

The day after Twin Atlantic in Leeds I was in bed until 4pm and then got ready to haul ass down to Concorde 2. Augustines doing their farewell tour and I must admit that I’ve never actually listened to them before. Mainly in it to see Fatherson who were supporting.

Got to the Concorde (2) in time for doors and had a way overdue catch up with Jess! Chatted until Fatherson went on, whereupon I made my way to 2nd row and enjoyed their set. They’re just ridiculously good and tight live, see them if you get the chance! Can’t wait for another headline tour. Had some hopes they’d be supporting Twin Atlantic on their Europe tour, but no such luck.

Then it was time for Augustines, and I must admit to both not hearing them before and to not paying attention at the Brighton gig. Instead more catching up with Jess happened, but also the decision to go to the London gig. Because what I did hear and see of Augustines in Brighton was just goddamn great!

London.

Two days later it was time for London and I was in quite a fragile state after the Monday night (Karaoke? REALLY?). Had promised to pick up stuff at the Concorde as well, so had a lovely few hours of being on a train, running to the hostel, running to Concorde and then actually taking a taxi back to the train station when I realised I was running out of time to see Fathersons set. Shortest Brighton visit ever, less than an hour before I was back on the train to London. After a ten minute nap on the underground to Kentish Town I was finally feeling better as well, and in a state where I could actually enjoy the gig. Always a plus!

Got into the venue about halfway through Fathersons set, so at least I got to see four songs! Just as good as in Brighton too, even if I was a lot further back. After unsuccessfully trying to find Jess I decided to spend about 3/4 of the Augustines set up on the balcony and it. was. amazing. Got a perfect seat on third row so had a great view and the sound was perfect. So good to see the audience as well, especially at a farewell show. Very emotional all around. To top it off the drummer got his dad out to play drums with him and the whole audience sang Happy Birthday and I MIGHT just have shed a tear or two. Such a great gig.

I love and hate farewell gigs, even with bands that are new to me. Possibly because they all remind me of the Kaisers Orchestra farewell gigs where I was sobbing like a child for about half an hour each of the 3 nights…

After the show I finally managed to locate Jess and we spent a fair few hours doing nothing much. I also managed to locate pizza which is always a good evening in my book. Finally made my way from Kentish Town at 2am, to check in at the hostel. Well and had to run back of course because I’d forgotten my bag. Le sigh.

Gallery:

Royal Republic – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 8/10 Support: Bleeker & Dinosaur Pile-Up

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My coach ride to Nottingham was quite obviously not spent blogging about the gig in London as it should’ve been, but rather I slept like a log. Good for me, bad for the blog. Does that count as rhyming? It should count as rhyming. Anyway, got to the hostel and didn’t even have to do my makeup as it had magically stayed on from the night before. Lazy, but hey, it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Changed and ready it was off to Rescue Rooms where I anticipated a very chill queuing, because hey, pub and outside heating. Was first in the queue, amazingly, and was loving life with my pint of cider and my book. Socialise? What do you mean, socialise? Doors went smoothly and it turned out that the meet & greet people had left a spot free at centre barrier and hey, don’t mind if I do. Did get talking to the guys behind me though, since I was running to bar/bathroom/merch about a million times and they were kind enough to hold my spot for me. Super nice people and see, I can socialise, it happens.

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The gig itself was, for me, the best of the three when it comes to the band. They’re always (and have pretty much always been) an extremely tight live act but in Nottingham it was completely top notch the whole way through. If asked to point out specifics that were different I really couldn’t, just a feeling, but a great feeling. The crowd was somewhere between Bristol and London, into it but not very lively. I don’t GET it? How do you not jump to their songs? How do you just stand there, like statues? (Now I want to see Enter Shikari again.) Oh well, the band was so good I couldn’t really be bothered to mind about the audience, a good thing I suppose.

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Not a lot to say about the support tonight, but that’s in a good way. Dinosaur Pile-Up just continue to grow on me and I can’t wait to see them on the Swedish dates as well! Bleeker, well, their EP is pretty much the only thing I’ve been listening to since the first gig and I can only hope they make it back to the UK for touring soon, wouldn’t mind some headline gigs!

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After the gig I was social indeed, talking to basically everyone, constantly. Double vodka + mixer was £4 in the pub and the rest, as they say, is history. Made it back to the hostel and had a not so great moment when I woke up and realised that my phone had died and had I missed my coach back to London?? Turned out it was exactly the time I had planned to get up, so off for a Greggs and onto the bus – Kingston and Biffy Clyro awaited!

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Royal Republic – The Garage, London 7/10 Support: Bleeker & Dinosaur Pile-Up

After an early night in Bristol, oh bed how I love thee, it was time to head back to London for another round of RR-madness. I had a feeling I wouldn’t be seeing much more of beds until Monday, so definitely made the most of it in Bristol. It was YHA time again in London, great stuff as they actually have comfy mattresses. I was still stuck in the, now extremely dated, mindset that Royal Republic isn’t a bad you have to queue for, which was very nice. Meant I had a calm few hours at the hostel for once.

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Of course, when I made it to the Garage around 5pm, it turned out there was 40 people ahead of me in the queue because it was SOLD OUT JOSEFINE, get with the times! The meet & greet people were of course first in anyway, so front row was a no go (early entry, you can get to fuck). That said, I got second row and was very pleased because the audience was AMAZING. Everything I wished for and more, jumping throughout the whole show and turned into a little puddle of sweat by the end of it.

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Royal Republic brought their A-game of course, just a brilliant on stage as in Bristol. I tried to the chats with audience about three times, only to realise every time I tried to stop recording, that I hadn’t actually been recording in the first place. So, no funny snippets for the blog. But at least there photos and shoutout to RR for being great to photograph and to whomever was responsible for the lights too! Even if I think there was some frontman syndrome it was great otherwise! And only red and purple, thank you very much for that. Same setlist as the day before, I did manage to snag one, but I also managed to forget to photograph it… I know, promises, promises.

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The new songs continue to be so. damn. good. Weekend Man live is just amazing and at some point my head will probably fall off from headbanging too much. Full Steam Spacemachine finally got the reception it deserved as the closing song, THANK YOU audience, you were the best!

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Support acts were great again, Dinosaur Pile-Up grows on me with every song I hear live. Will probably not be a band I spend a lot of time listening to on my own, but then, not many bands are. Live however, they are really, really good even if I’ll be damned if I can explain in  just what way. They draw me in. See them for yourselves!

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Bleeker are so tight live it’s just ridiculous, watch out Adam, you’ve got a contender for charisma there! At least some of the maturity in their songs was explained when it turns out they’ve been band for a longer while, with more releases than only an EP, just under another name. Obviously it’s mainly that they’re extremely good at what they do, but still!

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The night didn’t end there however, it was back to the hostel for me to meet up with Charlyne and head to Facedown at Scala. Hands Like Houses were playing and oh dear. Rock bands with funky bass, man. Makes me tingle. Great gig by them, and a great night all in all with loads of amazing dancing (heh) to old goodness like AFI and Good Charlotte. Even if the DJ didn’t play ANY of my requests. Bed at 4am, solid. Up at 9 and off to Nottingham! A tale for another post.

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Royal Republic – Thekla, Bristol 6/10 Support: Bleeker & Dinosaur Pile-Up

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It’s just past midnight, I’m in bed after an amazing gig and I’m trying to find the words to describe it. The gig I can probably describe, with my usual superlatives, but the whole experience was so much more emotional than I’m… well, used to.

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This is a band that I first saw supporting Sherlock Brothers at their release party at Harry B James in 2009. Just the fact that they’ve been billed before Sherlock Brothers on a night is weird to think about now. Then of course there was the Bandit Rock (Swedish radio station) tours/cruises/parties where Royal Republic played, the very, very funny Kill Hannah tour (where My Passion also supported, hilarious) and the small headline shows around Sweden… In my head the headline shows were in 2012 and 2013, but I’m a year off. They were in 2011 and 2012?? How the hell did time pass so quickly? How have I not seen them since?

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But I’m making up for it this year, and to start it out by attending the first 3 dates of a pretty much sold out UK tour is just insane. They’ve grown so much as performers and well and truly deserve every good thing coming their way, with the crazy amounts of hard work they’ve put in!

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The show itself, tonight, was excellent. At least from the people on stage. The audience however… Come on Bristol? One of the most boring crowds I’ve ever had the displeasure of being in. I get that it’s not the weekend, but come ooonnn. Not even the clapping got going? I also had a big problem with the one man band-syndrome. Sure, Adam is a really great frontman and he is great on stage BUT, there also happens to be three other band members on the same stage and they are fucking brilliant. How about maybe the tiniest little bit of light on them? I understand not all venues are easy for lights, but there were at least four different spotlights in the ceiling and they damn well managed to point at different parts of the stage for the support acts. As for these two sticking points, I have high hopes for the next two gigs. Lighting-wise, sure, but mainly audience-wise. Both shows are sold out and they’re on a Friday and Saturday so no excuses! Time to lose your minds peeps.

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But enough of the bitching and moaning. Royal Republic were awesome. They rock. The setlist was well packed with a balanced choice of songs, and I only realised which ones I was missing when I read back in the blog and saw setlists from years ago. Basically the best review I can give, because there will always be songs missing (where the HELL was Sailing Man? And Let Your Hair Down? And… anyway..). So you released an album that you’re now touring? What do I care, just play 35 songs and get them all in there! One can but dream… That said, the current set is 18 songs (if I counted correctly) AND the last four is encore of my dreams. Seriously what I would’ve put there if I was free to choose. I’ll put a setlist photo up after tomorrow! Side note: Weekend Man is a fabulous headbanging song! I commend Adam for his chat skills as well (how on earth do you say mellansnack in English?), bringing the Swedish sarcasm to England. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, and of when you add the charisma and personality of not only Adam, but the whole band and their dynamic, well, you end up with an extremely well put together show. Can’t wait to see how tomorrow turns out!

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The support acts tonight, Bleeker and Dinosaur Pile-Up, were brilliant. Of course that lended the whole evening an extra point or two, because how often do you get not only one good support, but TWO? I’d say pretty much never. Bleeker were first out and oh my god. I was completely bowled over. The star quality was over the top, apparent when the first support does a band introduction. Loved it. Just seen that they’re supporting on the whole UK tour and well, time to get this party on! After them Dinosaur Pile-Up took the stage and they were equally great, if in a different way. Not what I’d call my kind of music, very grungy, but maybe I’ve been converted now? Looking forward to seeing them, both on the rest of the UK tour and also on the Swedish leg… Not that I’m doing that.. of course. That would be crazy…

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Now I’m in London and it’s high time to start getting ready for tonight, so I can start fretting about queueing! What would life be without queue stress?

Rory Indiana & Reigning Days – BLEACH, Brighton 29/9 + Reigning Days – Boston Music Room, London 30/9

On September 28th I got back to Brighton after spending the summer in Sweden and the first thing that happens after checking into my (peeeerfect) hostel, is that Charlyne who I met at the Twin Atlantic gig in Kingston, is staying at the same hostel! Could my move back to Brighton have started better? Shouldn’t think so! We’ve obviously already planned about 400 gigs or so…

September 29th brought a short and sweet enrolment session and the first (and almost the only) Brighton gig for this autumn. Started the evening by heading down to The Globe to check out Sad Lamp’s pre-launch show. Only caught about ten minutes of the first band, but the vibe was great! Looking forward to seeing more of their events. Then for a quick walk up the road to BLEACH, where Rory Indiana were playing.

No surprises there, as in, they were just as good as ever. If they come to a place near you, definitely, definitely check them out. Haven’t been this excited about a band and what the future may hold for them since Arcane Roots. Their (Rory Indianas) EP, Ruling Class Crooks, is available on Spotify and should be given a listen or ten. The video for Leave Me can be found at the bottom of this post.

Reigning Days were on afterwards and a very nice surprise for me! I had never heard of them before but they instantly had a new fan in me after an energy packed set, the only thing letting them down was the crowd, we were so few there. I accidentally spent so long chatting to people outside the venue after this that by the time I made it back upstairs ALLUSONDRUGS had already played and gone… Oops. I then spent the next day debating if I should go to London and see Reigning Days again, this time supporting Kyle Gass band, and well, of course I did go in the end. Not that I took much convincing. It was another great gig and I can’t wait to see them again, at headline gigs please!

Sadly I’ll miss their headline show at The Old Blue Last on November 9th, but anyone who’s in London and into great rock n’ roll music should definitely go!

I’ll get some more of their music up on the blog as well, when I have a better internet connection going for me.