Athlete @ The HMV Institute, Birmingham, UK – 4th December 2010

Posted by Bianca on Saturday Dec 4, 2010 Under Indie, Rock

Athlete

The stage is smoke filled and semi-light as the crowd face forward, waiting with suspended anticipation. The figure of Joel Pott emerges slowing from the side of the stage, only equipped with an acoustic guitar and his stage presence. The whole room is filled with seething excitement as fans from all over the intimate venue cheer. This definitively sets the tone for what was to come next. Standing alone and staring out into the crowd, a drum track blasts through the room as Joel kicks off proceedings with ‘You Got the Style’.

Athlete
Athlete

Now switching to an electric guitar and with the entrance of the rest of the band in toe, it is down to business as they play an assortment of Athlete tracks such as ‘Superhuman touch’, ‘Hurricane’, and ‘Beautiful’, to name but a few. Their arresting lyrics and hypnotics compositions has the crowd literally eating out the palm of their hands as the audience are intricately weaved in and out of the more current songs and Athlete’s classics.

Athlete

What was equally impressive was the effortless way in which the band captured the essence of their stereo tracks and took it to the next level within their live performance. Not holding back or hiding behind distracting lighting extravaganza; or even participating in over the top showboating antics, all that remained to blow you away was simply a pure and evoking raw sound.

Athlete
Athlete

The atmosphere is electric yet emotional for Athlete as they celebrated their achievements as a band over the years. All four members were sincerely feeling blessed to be where they are now…and their fans even more so. At one point, a guy standing next to me, evidently filled with spirit of the gig was singing almost as loud as the band played, with blissful abandon and pride throughout an entire sing. Now that is commitment! More interesting than this was looking into the first few rows of the crowd and seeing each face light up as soon as an intro kicked in and hit a particular note which prompted many gig-goers to mouth the words “I love this song”… I can’t lie to you, this happened on many occasion.

Athlete
Athlete

I did not use this word lightly, but I must admit that seeing them in their glory was truly awesome. If I am honest, I forgot how great Athlete are, having learnt about the band through my sister who frankly introduced me to the song ‘Beautiful’ off their first Album ‘Vehicles and Animals’ back in 2002. I am most certain that it is reminiscent of a soundtrack to an era. Amongst the newer bands to emerge and break out onto the music scene at present, Athlete by far hold their own and their melodies are as relevant now as they were when they debuted. This was, for the most part, obvious by witnessing the eclectic diversity of their audience members and fan base to date.

Athlete
Athlete

Up until now, I had never had the pleasure of seeing them play within the same vicinity… but undoubtedly, their live shows are a must see, as they played an amazing set. I can officially declare that I am a renewed fan!

Athlete
Athlete

Gig Review by Denise Morris
Gig Photos by Gobinder Jhitta

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