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The great thing about an Emma Scott presents gig is that your more than likely to have a good night’s entertainment. This was certainly the case as I attended the Academy 2 to see Innerpartysystem. Unfortunately I arrived slightly late so I missed the first few songs of opening band My Passion. But what I did see was Day of The Bees – by this time the following fans were moshing at the front frantically as singer Laurence Rene stalked his was way across the stage with his post new romantic look. Next song Hot In The Dolls House, followed by Thanks For Nothing. The music is full of energy and gets the feet moving and the adrenaline running nearly as fast as the eyeliner, as the band close with Never Everland. My only regret about My Passion is that I missed the first 3 songs because I’m pretty sure they will be someone else’s passion as well.

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Next band Middle Class Rut arrive like a tornado tearing though a small Pennsylvanian town destroying everything in its path. As the decibel count goes up to maximum as lead singer and guitarist Zak Lopez tears at his guitar, you could almost see the ear drums pop as the blood tries to escape and find sanctuary at the back of the room. But for all here tonight there is no escaping the onslaught of power and mayhem of Zak’s angst-stricken vocals. As drummer and backing vocalist Shaun Stockham attacks the drums as he delivers the pulse to fuel songs like New Low, Oh Well, Busy Bein’ Born, Tied Up  & All Walks Of Life. Zak’s attacks on the lighting man are as ferocious as the vocals he roars out ‘turn the f***** lights on man’. Middle Class Rut are very solid and melodic. So if you like your music loud and angry, the new 25 Years E.P comes out in early March.

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As the dry ice machine billows out a faint white mist that hangs silently on the stage and the lights come on to reveal four silhouetted figures in a scene reminiscent of the Close Encounters film, Innerpartysystem land in Birmingham to a sell-out show. Since they played Bar Academy last October IPS have gained a following due to the release of their self titled album. They open with ‘Last Night in Brooklyn’ and, right from the opening lines, everyone sings along. Die Tonight, Live Forever gets welcomed like a mother welcomes her newborn child. This is impressive to say the least as singer Patrick Nissley holds this audience in the palms of his hand. There are all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds coming from the bank of keyboards that Jesse Cronan sits behind, you can barely see him amidst the aura of purple light that engulfs the stage. Heart Of Fire, Obsession and New Poetry are all greeted with applause as Patrick Nissey admits “Birmingham you’re the best night of the tour so far”. Innerpartysystem close with the brilliant Don’t Stop, which is rather befitting as no one at The Academy wanted that to happen tonight. They cast a spell on Birmingham and I for one hope no one lifts it.

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Review And Photos – Ian Dunn

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