It’s tough opening a gig like this but even though Moose Blood arrive on stage to a pretty small crowd tonight, they don’t let it phase them. They put on an energetic show which sets the scene for what’s to come. Their sound seems to gradually draw more of a crowd and by the time they go off stage the room is filling up. It felt like they could have easily played for longer and have plenty more to give. If they keep this up, they’re destined for big things.
After a quick turn around, it’s time for the second band tonight – Fort Hope. Lead singer Jon Gaskin (formerly of My Passion) hits some really high notes and shows his talents as the band’s lead singer. The whole band has loads of on-stage energy, jumping around and putting their all into every song. They all seem truly grateful to have so many fans and they acknowledge that from the start. Gaskin unexpectedly makes his way down from the stage to the barrier mid-set and this also goes down well with the crowd.
There’s a lot of expectation for tonight’s main support, FrnkIero andthe Cellabration. Former-MCR guitarist Frank Iero is out on the road in the UK for the first time since the world-famous band’s split last year and there are definitely a lot of My Chem fans. But there’s no room for comparison because this is different. It’s more personal, with Iero revealing his talents as a singer-songwriter and his preference for a heavier more raw, punk-based sound. As the music starts it’s obvious that the whole band is as passionate as Iero, throwing themselves into the set. The band come across as shy, with limited acknowledgement of the crowd throughout the set. But in stark contrast, they give a combined confident and tight performance which does more than enough to satisfy the fans. The energy heard on the Stomachaches record extends itself into the live performance tonight and the project feels complete.
And finally Mallory Knox. Not one of their sold out gigs tonight but there’s a good crowd and the room is comfortably full. The addition of strobes and searchlights on the stage make for a more polished and dramatic show, and helps the fans feel part of the set. Opening with ‘Shout at the Moon’, and closely following this with ‘Hello‘, these ‘fan favourites’ are ideal choices and they go down well.
Singer Mikey Chapman talks to the fans throughout the set as if he’s met them all before. His frequent encouragement for everyone to sing along further helps to draw the crowd into the performance. After singing ‘1949′ “for anyone who is in love”, he says “that was cool. I was feeling the vibe in that one”. Their 14 song set guarantees that their fans will go home happy tonight.
Overall a great gig, with four amazingly talented bands who although different in musical style, all owned that stage for each of their individual sets.