Circa Waves [6/10] have been hopping all over the place – first of all accompanying the 1975 on their most recent tour, and now solo filling out small venues all over the indie-rock shop. Luckily for me, one of these was the Institute in Birmingham – a really cool, civic building with a very authentic feel to it. After seeing Circa Waves support the 1975 at Alexandra Palace in front of such a big crowd, I strutted straight to the main room of the Institute to be greeted by padlocks. Another flight of stairs up, we met by a large living-room sized space with a capacity of 300, and it wasn’t crammed at all. Dancing space was guaranteed in this venue.
The humble band of four ambled onto stage, and were met by raised hands and cheers from super-fans that made up the first half of the room. They instantly dressed themselves in instruments and began with their EP title track ‘Young Chasers’, kicking off the high-tempo night. The Liverpool band were full of energy, moving about the stage and evidently having a good time. The band have not been around for long at all, only releasing their first EP in June 2014, but they appear very natural on stage.
Circa Waves most definitely have a signature sound, comparable to that of The Vaccines or the early Strokes. Their songs slide into one another so easily with the same high tempo and fast-paced guitar. Although sometimes irritatingly thematic, the band recover it with their high energy and impressive guitar riffs split between lead vocalist and main guitarist. You could be completely oblivious to all things music, and know how insanely talented the band actually are. They barely pause to take a breath between the end of one song and the beginning of another, apart from the few occasions the audience hear lead singer Kieran Shudall slur breathless and rushed ‘thank you’s’ to everyone there. Shudall is brilliant; his vocals sound lazy but in an effortlessly cool way.
It was a very short set of about fifty minutes, which is expected from an up and coming band without an album even released yet. There were of course a few stand out tracks – ‘Good For Me’ was the second song they played and it had the crowd of super-fans singing along like no tomorrow. They played ‘So Long’, one of their more well-known tracks, in the middle of their set which had everyone moving – especially someone who I can only assume was the father of one of the band members, and finished their short-lived set with ‘Give Away’.
Overall, it was an energetic but laid-back, authentic performance – they stayed humble and happy until the very end.