As December Falls – Live At Rescue Rooms

Nottingham legends As December Falls have recently released their first live album, recorded in their 450 capacity home town venue, which is their biggest headline show to date. The move of releasing a live album before a debut recorded album is an unusual one, however As December Falls frequently sell out venues and have performed all over the UK.

Opening to a cheering crowd with Everything You Say, the listener immediately notices the presence of vocal effects through the introduction. However in the recording, each instrument is balanced well within the mix, which is a difficult feat when capturing a live show, however at points there is very little mid range between the lead guitar line and the bass. There is rhythm guitar present, it’s just very quiet compared to the other instruments. However this appears to be sorted by the time Let Go crops up, and isn’t noticeable at all to the average listener.

Cross My Heart is immediately more upbeat than the previous track, however it doesn’t grab the listener’s attention when compared to Everything You Say. Here it becomes apparent that the actual lyrics are difficult to distinguish, however vocalist Bethany Curtis’ voice carries well across the live venue and is never out of tune. During this track the group interact with the audience, and the listener begins to miss having a visual image of the performance. However it is probably too premature in As December Fall‘s career for a DVD of a live performance.

As December Falls have cleverly grouped their tracks together, opening with their more upbeat tracks, before performing an edgier track in the middle of the album, starting with Keep Dreaming. The crowd are still pumped from the preceeding few tracks, and it audibly shows in the performance from the band. After Keep Dreaming is Royals, another upbeat track but quite toned down in tempo and genre when compared to the first few songs.

The first track using broken chords comes in during the latter part of the album. Thing I (Don’t) Want still makes use of the major key and fairly quick tempo, however the deceptive part is the arpeggiated theme, tricking the listener into thinking it will be a slower song.

It’s clear which songs are fan favourites, as notably Don’t Say A Word provides the best crowd reaction. Clearly the ambience of the venue has been mixed down so the band can actually be heard, and turned back up when appropriate. Other crowd pleasers are More To You and Capture.

The performance and the recording aren’t perfect – there are mic screeches present in places, for example. However these flaws provide a human experience for the listener, and it’s easy for them to imagine the actual performance. As December Falls provide a very real live album, and their decision to release a live album ahead of recording their debut studio album shows their confidence in their own performance. Additionally, they are not backed by a record label or management, making the fact that they’ve managed to record a live album of a sold out headline show even more incredible.

As December Falls release album ‘Live At Rescue Rooms’

Nottingham pop rock act As December Falls have played all over the UK, and now due to phenomenal demand from their fans they have captured that energy in their first live album Live at Rescue Rooms.

“As a completely independent band with no label support, no management and a hardworking DIY ethic, we really want the fans that can’t make our shows to still have that live experience. It’s also our way of saying goodbye to a lot of our old material since we’re working on our debut album which will be out next year! The Rescue Rooms show was our favourite show to date and our biggest headline show so far and we knew we had to share it with our fans.
We’re super proud to present our first live record from one of our favourite shows ever. We hope you love it as much as we do
!” – As December Falls

 

Trivium – Rock City 18/2/17

Saturday night was a great night in Nottingham for the local metalheads – Trivium were back and headlining the stage at Rock City. Supported by the recently popular Shvpes and Sikth, who were unfortunately missing a guitarist, it was with mixed feelings the crowd entered the venue.

Shvpes had a very energetic front man, who engaged the crowd extremely well and got them pumped. Their 7 song set was short, but the crowd were singing along by the time they played Skin & Bones. The vocalist was constantly calling for a circle pit, and repeatedly spoke to the crowd and tried to get them as hyped as he could for the following acts.

[7/10]

Up next were Sikth, and although they were down a guitarist, it didn’t stop them from giving the performance 110%. The prog metallers have two lead vocalists, and although it seemed like this might be overwhelming, they both incorporate different styles into their performances and blend them together really well. The crowd gave Sikth positive reactions, singing along and giving them a circle pit. Shoeless guitarist Dan managed to fill the empty guitar space with some insane prog metal riffs that the crowd went crazy for.

[9/10]

Finally, out came Trivium. The crowd knew what was coming with a stage set up of a huge stone throne for drums. The trademark Trivium skulls were also present. The entire performance was planned, but it felt like the group were just going through the motions, all the way from Rain to Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr. However, that didn’t stop the crowd from getting into the performance and vocalist Matt Heafy frequently asked the crowd for help on the vocals.

[8/10]

LIVE: Yellowcard – Nottingham Rock City 17/12/16

First on the stage at a very early 6:30pm (considering the entire gig was marketed at 7-10pm) were the UK’s very own The Kenneths, who seemed a little confused about where they were, first greeting Nottingham as Leeds, and then later on as Sheffield and even Great Yarmouth. However respect had to be given to the drummer, Aicha, who had broken her foot in the last few days, but was still drumming like nothing was wrong.

The Kenneths have been touring in support of their EP Double N which was released at the end of September. The punk trio was a great choice to support Yellowcard, as their obvious stage presence and energetic punk songs helped to pump up the audience in anticipation. Their music progressed through the set to show that they were not just a typical punk band.

[8/10]

Next up were Swedish group Normandie, who seemed to have a few fans in the crowd. Their songs were heavier than a typical Yellowcard crowd called for, however it appeared that all sorts of fans were in the audience. The crowd was jumping, the group were having great fun on the stage and the singer’s charisma really helped sell Normandie to those who weren’t previously fans.

Normandie had an entirely heavy rock set list that really showed off the individual musicians talents to the crowd. It seemed that they were continuing in the same vein as The Kenneths, helping get the crowd warmed up for Yellowcard. They were also chatting to the audience in between songs, and they seemed like a down to earth group who were stoked to be performing in a new city.

[9/10]

Finally, at 8pm, the crowd were more than ready for Yellowcard. The sound guys were pumping tunes like Sugar We’re Goin’ Down and All The Small Things over the PA, and the audience were singing along. Eventually the lights went dim and an announcement about mobile phones was played… and then out they came. Launching straight into Believe and then Lights And Sounds, the guys looked at home on the stage and really happy to be playing. Violinist Sean Mackin was constantly jumping up and down and moving around in excitement, something which is difficult while playing a violin!

In between songs vocalist Ryan Key chatted to the audience, announcing a proposal that had occurred (to audience cheers), and talking about the fact that this was going to be their final tour (aptly named The Final World Tour) after 20 years of Yellowcard. The group had great presence on the stage and were obviously having a lot of fun. There was no bitterness about this being their final tour, or their final gig at Rock City. They were also incredibly supportive of their The Kenneths and Normandie, several times mentioning how great they thought they were.

There was a great variety of music varying from Yellowcard‘s very early songs, to songs off their most recent album, The Final Record. Different genres within the Yellowcard bracket were played too, all the way from Lights And Sounds to the acoustic Hang You Up.

The final track before the encore was Hollywood Died, and then after very short break, Yellowcard reappeared to play Only One and Ocean Avenue. It was a real goodbye, and there will be a hole in the music industry where a cheery rock band with a violin should be.

[10/10]

 

LIVE: Feeder – Rock City, 14/10/16

The Virginmarys

The Virginmarys, hailing from Macclesfield, Cheshire, launched straight into their set with I Wanna Take You Home, supporting Feeder at Rock City on Friday 14th October. The Virginmarys are signed to Wind-up Records, and have been supporting Feeder for the third leg of their tour.

When The Virginmarys  began their set there was only a small crowd present, but they raised a large cheer. However, by the end of their second song, Halo In Her Silhouette, more of a crowd had drawn. Although there were some fans present at the beginning of the set, there were clearly more by the end.

Rock City, for a small venue, has a great sound. The sound technicians really make amazing use of the space, and the balance between instruments was great, everything could be heard clearly. The lighting was also great, although the light technician favoured yellow and blue for The Virginmarys.

The Virginmarys had excellent stage presence, moving around on stage and talking to the audience. Although they played heavier music than Feeder, the mix worked quite well as Feeder‘s new material is more musically explorative and less heavy. However, it was a shame that they didn’t perform Motherless Landthe first single to be released from their latest album Divides.

[8.5/10]

Feeder

By the time Feeder were due to appear, a massive crowd had appeared. Lots of people were sporting merchandise. Space Oddity by David Bowie was playing over the PA, and the crowd were singing along.

Straight after the end of the song, the backdrop lit up to show effects similar to those that were seen in Windows Media Player for MP3 files. There was a huge buzzing effect, and the crowd screamed when Feeder came out.

At first, the crowd didn’t move much, even for heavier songs, but still cheered extremely loudly. There were clearly crowd favourites such as RenegadesHigh and Buck Rogers. However, by the end of the gig, lots of the crowd were checking their watches and phones.

Feeder clearly draw crowds of all ages, from students to middle aged men and women were seen. They have 24 years worth of material, and had to balance songs from their new album All Bright Electric. However, material from this album did not seem to go over as well with the audience as their old classics.

However, Feeder have been gigging for a long time, and their shows have been honed and perfected over the years. The fact that they’re still touring and releasing new material really shows that their fans are loyal, and they’re obviously a great band. However, the show felt a little too polished and it would have been great to see more improvisation from Feeder because they’re such a talented group of musicians. It may have excited the crowd more too, as they stood still for the majority of the concert.

[8/10]

 

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