On Thursday night, Casey, ’68 and Capsize came to Birmingham for a show at the Flapper. The weather was absolutely spectacular and with the venue being right along the canal it was great to see the bands and fans alike chilling outside enjoying the pre-show sun.
Birmingham natives Hell & Home [7/10] kicked the night off. Stylistically, their music was reminiscent of bands like Being As An Ocean. What was very striking about Hell & Home’s set was that they didn’t make the mistake many young and new bands make of standing dead still throughout their set; the band members moved around the stage and interacted with the audience. The frontman could have used a little more force behind his vocals, but that might come with age and experience. The band played their singles ‘Lost Cause’ and ‘Autumn,’ which are up for free download on their bandcamp. As they were such a young, but promising band, it will be very interesting to watch how Hell & Home progress over the next few years.
Next up was Conduit [10/10] from nearby Coventry. Having been in and around the Midlands music scene for a while, the band put on a dynamic live performance; they made great use of the whole space and all the vocals sounded spot on. They had Matt Mckay filling in as their normal screamer was having throat problems. Despite not normally playing with the band, Mckay knew all the words perfectly and performed exuberantly as if he always played with them. Unfortunately, the sound mix was really poor and on the first song, the screamer’s microphone was not even remotely audible, but Conduit did not let it effect their energy or playing. They have their debut full-length album Life On Repeat coming out on the 1st of June and they played a couple songs off of it, which sounded great live.
After that, it was time for the main acts to start, the first of which was Casey [9/10] from South Wales. They were very atmospheric in both sound and stage presence. The band’s frontman stayed in the audience for the entirety of their set, delivering the vocals in a tortured manner. The clean backing vocals their guitarist sang sounded very good as well. What was most impressive about their set was the drummer’s impeccable skills. Before their last song, the frontman recited a poem with some musical backing from the rest of the band, which was cool.
For those unfamiliar with ’68 [8/10], their set probably came as a bit of a shock. While the other bands of the evening were more or less in the melodic hardcore vein, ’68 was more like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s wilder, drunker younger brother, with only two members. Vocalist and guitarist Josh Scogin, formerly of the well-known hardcore bands Norma Jean and the Chariot, was an absolute madman, bashing his guitar against the amps and the drum kit. ‘68 started off their set with an extended medley of songs including ‘One-Armed Scissor’ by At the Drive-In and a very long and impressive drum solo. Then they played some songs off their full-length album In Humor and Sadness, which came out last year.
Finally Southern California melodic hardcore band Capsize [10/10] took the stage. Frontman Daniel Ward stood in the crowd for the first few songs before moving to the stage for the rest of the set. The whole band was crazy and energetic, moving all over the stage, which made them very compelling to watch. One of the most exciting moments of Capsize’s set was when Ward held the microphone up to the vocalist from Hell & Home and let him sing. They closed with ‘I’ll Take The Blame’ off their 7” I’ve Been Tearing Myself Apart, which got many of the audience members singing along on the chorus.
The small venue size gave the show a very intimate feel, which worked well with the musical style of the bands. Because of the small size of the room, it felt very full, which aided the atmosphere. It was great to see that all the bands stuck around after their sets to watch and support each other. Besides the sound mix, which was consistently off throughout the night, it was a fantastic show.