O2 Academy3 Birmingham 10th Aug 2013.
It seems like forever since my last jaunt over to the O2 Academy3 in Birmingham but I’m very happy to report that tonight and all courtesy of Emma Scott Presents…. Stuart Woolfenden, The Cruz, The Borgias, Reap plus Fight The Bear, that is about to change.
Artists such as Jake Bugg and Tom O’Dell really have opened people’s eyes to the world of solo artists in acoustic mode and Stuart Woolfenden from Redditch is one young man who, even at the age of fifteen, makes for a commendable performance in this area. There is a great edge of social awareness and a hint of rebellion in Stuart’s songs that when all combined together, makes for quite a powerful performance. Keep your eyes and ears open for Stuart’s gigs as there’s heaps of talent here and this is only just the start of his journey!
Our second artists of the night brought about a change in musical direction that took us off down the mighty rock ‘n’ roll motorway with West Midlands band, The Cruz. These four guys represented themselves really well tonight with a powerful and energetic set and when those present were invited to come closer to the stage, the audience did not need asking twice! Stand out song for me was the new single ‘Insanity’, which you can find over on their Facebook page. Thumbs most definitely up to this band for their set tonight, you got me looking forward to the next one already.
The third band to take to the stage tonight was Birmingham’s very own three piece, The Borgias. Once again, I found myself taking a change in musical direction but this time I was to be driven along a road that was slightly more surreal. The Borgias set tonight served to deliver an adventure that quite positively basked in the curious and outlandish world of synth, guitar and harmonica, all of which being topped off with some absorbingly emotive vocals. At times, I felt that there I heard a few echo’s of what I would class as dance music in their electronic rock, and one thing for sure, these guys have a creative imagination and radical style that does not conform to the norm. Go check these guys out for yourself, as there’s some pretty interesting stuff going on here!
Our evening had now passed the half way mark and our next band up on stage was to be the mighty Reap. Previously known as The Formula, these guys seem to have reconstructed themselves into something that is several steps ahead of their previous existence and without doubt, they have a sound that captures the great heart of classic rock ‘n’ roll. If I was giving marks for their set tonight, it would have to be 11/10 as these guys were just faultless, but if you missed them here tonight at the O2 Academy3, you still have a chance to catch them before the end of summer as details of all their up and coming gig can be found over on their Facebook page.
Headlining band for this evening were Shropshire based bandileroes, Fight The Bear. Even though I hail from the same neck of the woods as these guys, I have to admit, it has been a couple of years since I’ve seen them, so I was definitely long overdue a good catch up! There’s a great positive vibe in the sound and style of this band and albeit quite a few people who had come to see the earlier bands didn’t all stay to watch our headliners, those who did, saw a great band give a really top notch performance that was well worthy of this pole position on tonight’s bill.
Words and Photography by Sue Wardle