It’s definitely been a few years since I’ve attended a gig where teenage girls in a great deal of black clothing and black eyeliner have queued outside for hours to get as close as possible to their current pop punk hero. Doing it at nineteen turned out to be more of an activity in nostalgia than shame about previous years doting loyally upon a few chords and lyrics about teenage romance.
Rat Attack presented the crowd with a great kickstarter, delivering a lot of energy and a buzz around the room that seemed to make everyone anxious for the acts to come. Not a perfect set on paper perhaps, but perfect given the circumstances.
Upon chatting to a number of the fans, a great deal of people were at the Cavern for Framing Hanley, a fairly small band from Tennessee that over the years have developed a very loyal and dedicated UK following. Screams erupted as Kenneth Nixon took to the stage, and I’m not sure if I am ashamed or proud to admit that one of those screams actually came from myself. Nixon definitely owned the venue, everyone was singing along as though Framing Hanley themselves were the headline act. Opening with their infamous cover of Lollipop and ending on the still amazing Hear Me Now, it was hard to believe that the headline act hadn’t actually played already. It was a night that delivered big things.
Once The Blackout came on the crowd were well and truly pumped, as it were, with a few pints in them and the energy from the previous acts. I have to say, despite my personal music taste having taken a swerve away from pop punk after the age of about 16, I enjoyed every second of it, and I can say with confidence that I was not the only one. Sean Smith and co were jumping around the Cavern as if they were on springs, portraying such an intense energy it was hard to believe it was the same band that I was lucky enough to interview before the gig.
I’m trying very hard to avoid cliché but it genuinely seemed as though, if the Cavern were not underground, the roof would have definitely come off. Songs from the new album were definitely up beat and punchy, and classic track It’s High Tide Baby, though the band may be sick of playing it by now, was probably the highlight of the evening.
It’s been a while since I’ve attended a gig like that. I supposed what with my new and quite different musical preferences I wouldn’t go to the same gigs now as I did when I was fifteen. But should you find yourself reading this, take my advice: participate in some nostalgia. Pick a band you listened to forever ago and check them out live. You could be bitterly disappointed and ashamed of your past self, or you could find yourself lulled into a beautiful haze of nostalgia and familiarity, while high-tempo drums and generic melodies you once lived by actually join you once again.