The O2 Academy3 Birmingham 19th April 2014.
It seems like ages since my last excursion to Birmingham for a night of entertainment courtesy of Emma Scott, and what a line up there is on offer tonight. With a fine mix of familiar faces and tuneage and the prospect of a couple of new experiences aswell, an interesting night lay ahead for sure!
Sadly, with Bank Holiday transport running well behind schedule, my hopes of seeing Joe Miles tonight were dashed as by the time my train finally steamed into Birmingham New Street, Joe’s set was drawing to a close, so big apologies to Joe for missing that as from the accounts of those who did see you, you gave a sterling performance!
So, my night of rock ‘n’ roll started with the relative newcomers to the West Midlands music scene, Hilum. Watching these guys perform their set tonight, the term snazzy came to mind as their blend of alternatively rock and pop is definitely stylish and hugely attractive to the ears. Amongst the haze of billowing smoke and the atmospheric blue and green lighting, the stage really was set to capture the mood of their music and an extremely enjoyable set it was too!
There are a couple of sure fire guarantee’s about our next band, Million Empire as with each and every performance of theirs that I’ve seen, this Birmingham trio have always basked in their outstanding ability as musicians and always succeed in playing the living daylight’s out of each and every song! Their set tonight met every expectation I had and a few more aswell, with the news of their imminent plans to get some new material recorded warranting a little happy dance from me when no one was looking!
It’s been just over two years since I last saw Page 44 at this very venue, so I’m looking forward to tonight’s repeat performance as this was a band whose name and sound has stayed with me based on that previous performance. With the two Adam’s taking full control of the mic’s, the good time vibe quickly rolled out across the O2 Academy3, much to the delight of tonight’s audience. One of the great qualities this band possess is their tireless energy on stage and even though Adam Stanford felt the burn for a brief moment, their high voltage performance just kept coming and a great set from the band indeed!
Headlining tonight, were Shropshire based Fight The Dice and these five guys are firm favorites of mine as they always manage to put the tick in just about every box that you could ask a band to tick! Professional and charismatic in their every action, writers and performers of catchy and competent songs and clearly committed to what they do, makes this band always an absolute pleasure to watch! With the opportunity of a slightly longer set than they had initially planned, their mood was ripe for a few their older tracks and also a couple of popular covers and in true Fight The Dice style there was always time for plenty of smiles.
Well, I’d left it till the last minute to run off and catch my train home but I was running with a smile on my face – top night, top class bands, an appreciative audience and the very great company of Ms Emma Scott – what more could you ask for?
Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.