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Man Overboard – 29/04/2015

By | Published May 5, 2015

This tour was originally scheduled to take play 6 months ago however after Nik, frontman and bassist of Man Overboard, tore his ACL and was forced to have surgery, the delay only left fans more time to build up their excitement.

The first band on, Germany’s Smile and Burn [7] had arguably the hardest job of the night as the other bands on the bill had already had an extremely vocal fanbase packed into this intimate venue. While it was a tough start, the amount of fun they were having on stage was infectious and everyone was quickly smiling and enjoying themselves.

For a band who are still perceived to be very small, with the number of tshirts and people excited for them, it felt like it could be a headline show for Roam [9]. The band almost lost all momentum in their opening song as a crowd surfer went over the barrier and the lack of security lead to him hitting his head badly and it was a worrying minute or two for all involved. However the band handled the situation like professionals, stopped playing for the guy to get medical help and then carried on with vigor to make up for lost time. While they didn’t sound a million miles away sonically from The Story So Far, no one cared as Roam are very good at that style of pop punk. The gang vocals for Foresight sounded gargantuan with a call to arms that everyone between the ages of 16-23 understands as they sung “it seems like everyone my age, is twice as far into their lives, with better jobs and more insights, a better road, less to rewrite”.

After Roam had thrown the gauntlet down to steal the show with an incredible set, Moose Blood [9] strolled on stage and let their music show why they are being tipped by critics both sides of the Atlantic as something truly special. With a setlist drawing exclusively from their debut record, I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time, to the complaint of some, the whole venue were captivated by their unique charm. Their earnest lyrics about teenage love had been fully embraced by a passionate number of male and female fans which lead to every word of their set being sung back to the band as loud as possible. Tracks such as Bukowski and Pups sounded colossal however the lack of confidence of the band on stage was a huge determent. They all looked nervous and felt like they were out of place but as soon as the first chord was played they grew confidence and swagger for the course of the song. Apparently this show was not a one off, every show Moose Blood had played on this tour had been met with the same enthusiasm, and if this is the case they are truly onto something special and are going to be one of the leading lights in rock music for years to come.

It is safe to say, after such a stacked undercard, most of the crowd were drained by the time that Man Overboard [6] hit the stage. Their last few releases had been met with apathy by fans and the band that had previously been seen as one of the most promising bands of the scene is not the case anymore. Opening with the first song off of their debut album, it firmly set the scene that the band were drawing from their older works. This decision was supported by those in attendance as their appreciation for tracks such as Montrose and Septemberism was far higher than for Sad and Hoodie Song. It is this disappointment that lead to some of the crowd spending more time by the bar or merch than watching the band. This disinterest was represented by the band who felt like they were going through the motions and didn’t really put too much effort into the show. They were also plagued with sound issues with the vocals being lost behind the drums and bass in the mix that also harmed the show. This was especially the case in their iconic track Love Your Friends, Die Laughing which was very disappointing.

Overall this gig highlighted two things, firstly that Roam and Moose Blood are two very special entities with very bright futures, on the other hand Man Overboard have a very rocky future. Emerging at the same time as The Wonder Years and The Story So Far, the scene has left them behind in many ways and their next album is critical to the future of their band.