Review by Lee Allen with Photography by Katja Ogrin

If you’ve not heard of Highly Suspect then in 2018 that’s all going to change. The trio originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts deal in the sort of rock that fits easily along side day time radio friendly pop yet often nips across the border into harder territory… Think Royal Blood and you won’t be far off.

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Tonight the Institute is nearly full yet the gathered fans let out a welcoming roar that would make a full Wembley Staduim blush. After a grand intro from their DJ the boys hit the stage and launch into ‘Bath Salts’ – with its ballsy bluesy swagger it’s the perfect start to a set that features 15 tracks, which when you consider the boys only have two albums is a belting effort.

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Frontman Johnny fires off bad boy vibes while brothers Ryan and Rich hold down the back line with their crushing tight rhythm section. It’s refreshing in this age of get famous quick shows like Xfactor to see a band that have clearly worked hard to get to this point in the careers and it’s obvious they are destined to fill much bigger venues.

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Songs like ‘Fuck Me Up’ and ‘Lydia’ transport you to a dive bar somewhere in middle America where everyone drives trucks and disputes are settled with brawls in front of a neon soaked jukebox on a Saturday night. Arguably their biggest song ‘My Name Is Human’ arrives towards the end of the set and the institute loses it mind. Everyone in the crowd howls the words back at the band and the curious in the crowd become converted.

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Finishing the set with the visceral ‘Look Alive, Stay Alive’ the boys leave the stage to screams for more and squeals of feedback. If these boys hit Birmimgham again it will certainly be in a bigger venue, with a bigger crowd and heaven help us even louder screaming.

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