‘The Final Show’
O2 Academy, Birmingham 30th August 2014.
A million hearts were broken at the news Stakeout were calling it a day. The pop punksters reign has come to an end with the young band members Matthew Hodgetts (lead vocals and guitar), Lee Jackson (bass and vocals) and Alex Banes (drums) now moving on to pastures new. So a party night was in order to say good bye.
To get the night off to a good start Wait For The Fall had the privilege of opening the night. This up and coming four piece pop punk band have been carving out a space on the local scene since forming in 2013. The early bird audience were soon engaged in cheers and clapping for these guys who easily set the tone for the night by filling the stage with contagious energy.
Fight The Dice followed on to keep the party ball rolling. With a style ranging from melodic acoustic to punchy rock, they performed with brilliant style that gives you the impression that the stage is their second home.
Impartial Addiction mixed their own brand of infectious hooks and melodies with great covers such Greenday’s ‘American Idiot’ and Busted’s ‘Air Hostess’ which induced plenty of synchronised hand clapping with the crowd. All three supports provided a great warm-up for Stakeout’s final set.
And thus the time had come for headliners Stakeout to take to the stage for their final show. In a darkened light and with Europe’s ‘final Countdown’ blasting over the PA, a grim reaper character appeared to bid farewell to the guys. But it was not long before the light hearted approach was in full swing when he cast off his cloak to reveal a Batman costume.
Then on to the barrier he jumped to whip up a frenzy in the crowd. Stakeout then stormed on to face a delirious crowd and the pop punk party went into overdrive. Plenty of running around and jumping about by the band was received well by the crowd who responded with loads of whoops and hollers.
A great segued melody formed part of the set with tunes as diverse as ‘Who let the dogs out’, ‘Happy’, 80’s popster Rick Astleys’ ‘Never gonna give you up’, ‘Gangnam style’, Bryan Adams ‘Summer of 69’ and Journey’s ‘Don’t stop believing’ showed how Stakeout can musically span the generations.
The band paid tribute to all that have followed them and helped them along the way, with many of them joining them on stage shortly before the encore. There may have been a few tears shed tonight at the end of the show, but I feel Stakeout will be back at a later date. A little bit older perhaps but still full of youthful energy and party punk appeal.
Review and Photography by Stephen Turner.