Thursday night was an evening packed full of entertainment brought to the heart of Selly Oak. Birmingham Promoters – in association with UOB Live Music Society and New Street Records – brought four stunning bands to the Bristol Pear stage, each bringing their own styles and motifs to their performances in turn.
The evening kicked off with a lively set by Thai Brides. Unbeknownst to most, this was the first time the band had performed together as a five-piece. The quintet easily captured the crowd’s attention with the amount of passion they threw into their half-hour set. The entire performance was packed full of original songs. This is definitely a band to watch out for, and we look forward to more captivating performances from Thai Brides in the future!
Spilt Milk Society, the second act of the evening, kept up the energy with the crowds dancing along to every song in their set. The Merseyside-based band drove nearly five hours to play for their Birmingham fans – and it was definitely a worthwhile trip. Their friendly on-stage personas and catchy indie hits made them an instant hit with the local crowd. It was no surprise to discover that they had previously featured on BBC Radio West Midlands, Radio 1, Radio 2, and many more. Their latest single ‘Turtleneck Boy’ was the highlight of their set, with the crowd singing along to the catchy tune and the band feeding off of the contagious positive energy in the room. The band’s frontman was even wearing a turtleneck for the performance as a sort of homage to their work. The variation in the songs within their set – from high-energy anthems to mellow stand-and-sway melodies – was reminiscent of The Magic Gang’s iconic style in their early days.
Portobello, a group of students from the University of Birmingham, brought a more relaxed funk-soul vibe to the stage, a distinct yet welcomed change in genre compared to the previous acts. Portobello have quoted John Mayer as being one of their strongest inspirations, which shone through clearly in their vibrant performance. A particularly interesting element of their set was the incorporation of a sopranino saxophone, which appeared in a few of their songs. It suited Portobello’s performance style and added a jazzy element to their set. The group as a whole charmed the crowd, with their pre-existing fanbase making themselves known in the front row of the audience. Portobello are set to appear at ValeFest 2019, and are in the process of recording some of their new material.
The last band of the night, Young Monarch, finished the night off with class, enthusiasm and style. Having spent recent months in the recording studio, the band were clearly excited to kick off their whistlestop UK tour. The group were so in sync with each other, and knew how to keep the crowd hooked. The dynamic lighting in the venue was apt for their equally sonorous performance. The band debuted their new song ‘Find Me’, which was officially released online less than an hour after their set at the Bristol Pear. The band’s energy was infectious, and the vast array of underlying emotions within their well-crafted lyrics brought both bouts of energy and calm to the venue. Their November/December tour continues on to London, Manchester, and Leeds.
The night finished off with a lively DJ set by Bread on Toast. The duo effortlessly brought the party atmosphere to its conclusion, mixing a strong selection of house and techno beats to round off a brilliant night of music.
Make sure to check out the interviews with the bands below: