The Sunflower Lounge
Review by Mark Wakeman
Unfortunately the inclement weather and the rail strike meant that I missed opening act Bermuda. But the young Birmingham band are playing the Sunflower Lounge on 16th December and 10th January if you want to check them out.
Idle Noise a young four piece from Coventry had bought a good amount of support which helped to give their set a good atmosphere. ‘Rapture’, which was a single earlier this year, opened with a couple of lines from the Soft Cell classic ‘Tainted Love’ but then transformed into a barnstorming rock song in it’s own right. This song has picked up a fair number of plays at Football Grounds and it was easy to see why.
Another recent single ‘Everybody Gets Famous’ could well have been a comment on the amount of instant celebrity and a lot of people’s desire to be social media stars in today’s multimedia world. It has picked up a fair amount of airplay and sounded impressive live.
‘Grace’s Corner’ was certainly the highlight of the set, a beautifully melodic song with heartfelt lyrics which sounded so good I was wondering if I had heard it before and if it was a cover as all the audience seemed to know the words. If you check out one song by this band then this is the one you need to listen to.
Avalanche Party from North Yorkshire were the main support. They are in the middle of a sizable UK tour and have been hyped as one of the most exciting new live bands on the circuit. Not many sets start with the lead singer leaping off the stage and climbing onto the outside of the steps in the Sunflower Lounge before leaping back down again. But Jordan Bell not only looked and acted like a rock star but sounded like one too with a brooding stage presence and intense vocals.
Their set was a tour de force of noise and rock with elements of the heavier era Depeche Mode and shades of The Clash but given an extra layer with a sometimes three guitar salvo plus electronic organ underpinned by an excellent rhythm section.
Jared Thorpe on lead guitar who also had the rock star look off to a tee played some great riffs and really got the crowd rocking. Their album 24 Carat Diamond Trephine was only released last Friday but to really appreciate this band and their power you need to see them live.
Headliners Sick Love from Dublin said this was their first time in Birmingham but soon had the crowd rocking. Lead singer Rebecca Geary had great powerhouse vocals and lead her excellent band through an intense and sweaty set of twelve songs.
Shout outs were given to the mature couple down the front who were really getting into the music and showing the younger audience members how to rock it up.
Sick Love powered through the opening couple of numbers before debut single ‘Are You Ready’ really ignited the set. Any band that can all a song ‘I’m So Fucked’ is okay by me and although this was my first time hearing more than one of their songs their music was catchy, rocky and energetic.
The set stormed along and with the strongest songs left to last got even better. ‘I Want You All Of The Time’, ‘Bad Girl’, ‘My Man’ and ‘Gun In Your Pocket’ got the crowd even more excited as the band literally dripped with sweat due to their exertions. ‘Soccer Mum’, which was the one song of theirs I’d heard before, was a perfect closer to another very good gig.