O2 Academy3 Birmingham 21st November 2015.
Tonight’s line up at the O2 Academy3, see’s Guts For Glory, Fires That Divide, Pelugion, Free Sun Rising and Southfall, all set to bring some pretty impressive rock to Birmingham and I was anticipating that there would be quite a few people there to see and hear it!
Our first band of the evening were Southfall and one of the many things I really enjoy about Hils Ovations gigs, is that it gives me (and many others), the chance to see up and coming bands that I may not have seen before – and Southfall are one of three bands tonight, that fit into that very same remit. Their set tonight was a mix of covers and also their own original material, with Matt Clewley on vocals making for quite a charismatic front man, who quickly made that connection with the audience. I could quite easily see Southfall growing from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing what the rest of this year and 2016, brings along for this band.
Free Sun Rising were new band number two for me tonight, and I have to say I really enjoyed their set aswell. This band certainly do rock and with a deep fundamental groove running through their songs, they definitely played a few toe tappers tonight. Cory Mangan on drums stole their set for me tonight as even though he was invisible up on stage for most of the time, courtesy of one over active smoke machine, I could undoubtedly feel the power of his drumming. Check out Free Sun Rising’s Facebook page and take a listen to ’Light Of Day’ to catch a great example of this for yourself.
The third new band of the evening for me were Pelugion, who hail from the Coventry area and three was most definitely a magic number here as from what I saw and heard tonight, Brandon Balou, Andy Sweeney and John Pittaway delivered nothing short of 110% up there on the stage! Pelugion’s set this evening brought with it an intensely hard punch of rock and adrenaline, which spiraled out across the o2 Academy3’s audience and I’m sure that they will have picked up a fair few new fans as a result of it. Keep your eye’s peeled for any Pelugion gigs that are happening near you cause believe me, you really do need to see these guys live!
Our penultimate band for this evening were Fires That Divide and on the many occasions that I’ve seen this band live, they always deliver one very proficient set and tonight they gave us all exactly that same experience again. It was also great to hear some new material from the band in their set and I can’t wait to hear the new single that they are currently working on. Kirk and the band are presently filling up their diary with dates for the new year but you can catch them before then on December 18th at Katie Fitzgerald’s, so people of Stourbridge and fans of Fires That Divide, give yourself a great Christmas present and get this date in your diary now!
Our headliners of the night, Guts For Glory are another band who I’ve also had the great pleasure of seeing several times already this year , but tonight, the band totally took their set to a new level.
With James Gould recovering from an injury to his wrist, he could justifiably have taken a more laid back approach with his guitar playing tonight – but this is James Gould we are talking about here and when Guts For Glory take to the stage, I really don’t think anything apart from a straight jacket and chains would hold him back. And even though the dense smoke on stage took him out of sight on several occasions, you only had to listen to him play to know that nothing at all was being held back.
Lead singer Rich Austin, also gave another great performance on stage tonight, with his brutal vocals being most ably endorsed by his change in appearance.
With the release of a new album standing firmly on the bands imminent horizon, tonight was a great opportunity to see Guts For Glory live and to get a taste of what is about to be released and if tonight’s performance was anything to go by, then the new album is going to be a must have purchase for sure!
Finally, and to all those people I saw earlier that evening, queuing to get into the other rooms at the O2 Academy , I have to say – you missed out on one hell of a great gig tonight, as hall 3 was definitely the place to be!
Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.