Words & by pics by Eleanor Sutcliffe
Whenever I’m asked to name my top five albums, Mayday Parade’s A Lesson in Romantics always manages to sneak itself onto the list. Whether it’s upbeat pop rock anthems such as ‘Black Cat’ or the drawling melancholy vocals of ‘Miserable At Best’, I’ve always had a soft spot for the album and would frequently listen to it when scoping out new bands became cumbersome. So when I heard that they would be playing a 10 year anniversary tour in celebration of its release, I felt compelled to attend.
First up at the O2 Institute were All Get Out – fronted by singer songwriter, Nathan Hussey. They opened strong, but soon bubbled down to a rather average performance. Musically you cannot fault them – tracks such as ‘Room to Talk’ were stellar and have crept their way onto my Spotify playlist. And their newest release, ‘Nobody Likes a Quitter’, is both half an hour of musical genius and something I cannot recommend enough. Sadly their support set just didn’t reflect this, but if you’re in a gig for the music and that only then these guys are for you.
I last saw With Confidence at this year’s Slam Dunk festival where they delivered a stellar show, and their support at the Mayday Parade gig is no exception. Hailing from Australia, the four piece owned the stage and easily won over the room with their opening song ‘Voldemort’ from their debut album Better Weather.
Their songs are short, loud and to the point – they came to play and that they did. Much of the crowd seemed to already be a fan, with individuals singing along word for word and flinging gifts on to the stage, one of which was a t-shirt consisting of numerous photos of guitarist Luke Rocket’s face. As a band gaining momentum fast, I’m excited to see what the future holds for the four of With Confidence.
Mayday Parade got off to a slightly shaky start, with front man Derek Sanders struggling slightly to keep up with the tempo of ‘Jamie All Over’. Nothing infuriates me more than someone singing offbeat, however the band soon enough redeemed themselves, following up with a flawless run through of each track on A Lesson in Romantics.
Songs like ‘Jersey’ and ‘When I Get Home, You’re So Dead’ were met with a cacophony of applause from the O2 Institute’s packed out main room. Soon enough, as Sanders sat down with a keyboard and belted out the hit song ‘Miserable At Best’, the crowd was reduced to a weeping mess (although with lyrics along the lines of ‘I can live without you but without you I’ll be miserable at best’ this came as no surprise).
Performing against a backdrop of the album artwork, and with the stage stripped back to its bare bones, Mayday Parade were free to let loose. It’s refreshing to watch a band with so much raw energy perform their songs as good as they did ten years ago.
And yet there was still room for surprises, as Sanders appeared onstage with an acoustic guitar and covered Something Corporate’s ‘Punk Rock Princess’ – a surprising choice that paid off well with the crowd. Following this was their song ‘Terrible Things’, which is the type of track you’d listen to on repeat while crying in your room as a teenager. I loved it.
Mayday Parade wrapped up the show with ‘Three Cheers for Five Years’ from their debut Tales Told By Dead Friends EP, ‘Kids in Love’ from their sophomore album Anywhere But Here, and ‘Oh Well, Oh Well’ from their third self-titled album. I was impressed at how well thought out the set was; album shows can be a tad predictable at times, so a set that included extra material without distracting from the main purpose of the gig was a plus.
Overall, Mayday Parade’s A Lesson in Romantics 10th anniversary celebration show was everything I’d expected and more. Some albums simply never go out of style, and thank God this is one of them.
All Get Out – supporting Mayday Parade @ O2 Institute 23.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review
For more from All Get Out, visit www.allgetoutmusic.com
With Confidence – supporting Mayday Parade @ O2 Institute 23.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review
Mayday Parade @ O2 Institute 23.09.17 / Eleanor Sutcliffe – Birmingham Review
For more on Mayday Parade, visit www.maydayparade.com
For more from O2 Institute, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham
For more from SJM Concerts/Gigs and Tours, visit www.gigsandtours.com