Gig review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Bianca Barrett

Circa Waves

Last time Gig Junkies caught up with modern day Mersey Beaters Circa Waves it was down on the glorious Cornwall Coast basking in the sun at Boardmasters Festival. Their upbeat indie pop sound coming across perfectly in the summer sun to the backdrop of the Ocean waves. I was therefore interested to see how their upbeat act transcended on a dark chilly Friday night at Birmingham’s Institute.

Circa Waves

First up, from Ireland, The Academic – a really lively opening act and certainly one to look out for in the future. The fact that I’ve got pants older than this lot tells you a lot about the age of the band (and how long I tend to keep hold of my underwear) but that mattered not a jot. Reminiscent of a young Catfish and the Bottlemen in terms of musical direction, the young boys were polished, melodically and harmoniously great and with their fast paced indie pop, are certainly a band we’ll hear about in the future.

Sundara Karma

Sundara Karma were the second band up and for me were a little more style over substance. I’ve never seen a support act with such an impressive array of kit for example. There were pristine Orange Amps everywhere. It’s not that they were bad, far from it, a number of their tunes such as ‘Loveblood’ and ‘Flame’ were decent. I just think if they paid a little more attention to how they sounded rather than how their hair looked, they’d be a more impressive live act.

Circa Waves

Described as indie pin ups by many, it was easy to see Circa Waves appeal as they made their way on to the stage with their boyish good looks – much to the adulation of the largely female teenage crowd.

Circa Waves

Circa Waves

Opening up proceedings with ‘Young Chasers’, this high tempo poppy number set the bench mark for the Liverpudlians and very much the tone for the evening as the went on to plough through one catchy three minute pop song after another – much to the delight of the wanton crowd.

Circa Waves

Amidst cries of ‘Circa Circa’ from the crowd, lead singer Kieran greeted every tier of the audience. A brief commotion occurred during ‘Fossils’ when someone set off a flare in the seats to the amusement of the singer who labelled the offender as a “nutter!” The four piece went from strength to strength being aided and abetted by the partisan crowd who joined in with massive sing alongs to fan favourites ‘Fossils’ and ‘Stuck in my Teeth’.

Circa Waves

One trick pony is a criticism that’s been levied at the band of late and whilst there is a certain amount of validity in the statement, I feel it’s a little unfair. Yes, their songs are similar and yes, there is a certain amount of repetition, but it’s a formula that works and as you look round at all the smiley faces and bobbing heads, you can forgive them for not moving away from what they do best so early on in their musical journey.

Circa Waves

One thing that stood out for me was the infectious energy that Circa Waves bring to the whole set, we’re talking about 100% energy throughout! The brummy audience did a great job bringing that energy off stage. The whole place was a buzz!

Circa Waves

‘101’ and the splendid ‘T Shirt Weather’ provided the fitting finale and then it was off to the O2 Academy for the band to perform a DJ set for more of their fans. Splendid stuff boys. Brum looks forward to seeing you soon!

Circa Waves

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