Live: BELLEVUE DAYS at The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

Back when I was growing up, pretty every band I listened to were influenced by either Faith No More, The Descendents or Nirvana. Now times have changed, and bands are finding newer bands to crib from. Case in point: Tonight’s bands (Bellevue Days, Patrons and Wood and Nails) have rich vein of Long Island emo-types Brand New running through them. Is this a case of heard it before? We will find out.

Up first is the boisterous indie punk of local heroes, WOOD AND NAILS. This being the fifth time Purple Camera has seen the four-piece, they’re just getting better each time. From the heart-stopping rushes of ‘The Night Before’ and ‘Bloodshot’ to the Brand New-balladery of ‘Sorrow’, the band are an enviable opener, enlivened further by new song ‘Lights Out’. The highlight being the bass-breakdown of ‘All We’ll Ever Be’, signalling a true chant-along moment. They leave the audience suitably warmed up.

Plymouth’s PATRONS sound is what hits you first. A thrilling mix of Thrice, early Biffy Clyro and pretty much every other notable post-hardcore band of the last 15 years. “Soaring”, “epic” and “emotive” are adjectives that come instantly to mine. While slightly anaemic on record, live the band pack a propulsive punch with the likes of ‘Last Of The Quick Thinkers’ and ‘The Art of Conversation’ being huge moments in a wholly impressive set. Stonking bass grooves knock up against off-kilter drums, frontman Danny Brookes voice ascending powerfully over the tunes. Despite various technical issues (including the bass completely dropping out for half a song) they end strong with riffy “We are you waiting for” climax of ‘The First of the Slow Burners’.

Starting with sedate intro for ‘Let’s All Be Friends’, BELLEVUE DAYS start as they mean to go on; the song’s delicate emotive passages building its stirring “The sun came up when we were young” conclusion. An admirable gentle banter runs through their set, despite their songs of broken hearts and secret affairs, they aren’t above cheekily mentioning that merch is for sale during the palm-muted section of second song ‘Sleep’.

Bellevue Days’ set is whether the Brand New-obsession hits full tilt, whether it be the reused whisper/yell dynamics from ‘Sowing Season (Yeah)’ on ‘Faith’, or ‘Ripped Jeans’ momentary choked ‘Play Crack The Sky’ lyricism. All songs their share the same moving heart-on-the-sleeve essence as Jesse Lacey’s crew, but with added Brit humour and warmth, a varied twin-songwriter assault and a way more positive outlook. Sure, on ‘Faith’ Dan Lukes is screaming strangled into the void, but its an optimistic scream, one that assumes the sun will come up sooner or later. They end on the ‘Bad Black Sheep’, with its ‘Jesus Christ’ pitchbends, lyrics of ‘It’s easier than being alone’ and some seriously full-bodied riffing. Despite some slight references, not the case of deja entendu as expected. Great stuff.

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Ashley Robak

Ashley Robak should really try harder. He has a BSc in Film Production, several articles on Taste on Cinema (http://www.tasteofcinema.com/author/ashleyr/) and occasionally contributes to On Record Magazine. When not writing about film, he attempts to make his own with Purple Camera Media (http://vimeo.com/purplecamera).

Ashley Robak

Ashley Robak should really try harder. He has a BSc in Film Production, several articles on Taste on Cinema (http://www.tasteofcinema.com/author/ashleyr/) and occasionally contributes to On Record Magazine. When not writing about film, he attempts to make his own with Purple Camera Media (http://vimeo.com/purplecamera).

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