Gig Review by Kirsty Hillyer with Gig Photos by Lee Allen

Taking back sunday (6 of 16)

It’s always nice when you can walk to the gig. I didn’t but that’s beside the point. I could have. I’ve seen a few gigs here over the last 15yrs; New Found Glory in the main room, Therapy, The Ataris in the side room with sweat and condensation dripping off the ceiling due to the heat, too many bodies and a storming show.

I’d forgotten what a nice venue the Kasbah is (or Colli if you are a long time local and therefore will forever be known as that). Sadly the merch was at times a tad over priced with a baseball TBS jersey costing £30. Thankfully a sticker pack with badges was only £2.

Chasing Cadence
Chasing Cadence (3 of 4)
Chasing Cadence (4 of 4)
Chasing Cadence (1 of 4)

Arriving just before show time and there is still a half-mile long queue round the block and so there aren’t too many bodies in the room for the first band Chasing Cadence.

Already on stage are their pop-up banner backdrops with a logo reminiscent of Coheed and Cambria’s. The lead singer is mic swinging from the off as if he wants to be TBS’s Adam Lazzara back in the sweeping emo hair days. I have to give him props though for not being embarrassed by the propensity of ugly pictures that will be taken thanks to his OTT good gurning faces. He even smells his finger at one point.

These chaps are rife with early noughties emo hair and they’re the kinda pretty boys that will get signed and pushed; along the likes of You Me At Sux. Deliberate typo.

Chasing Cadence is a band that haven’t worked out what their identity is yet. To quote the photographer @leeallenphotos tweet form the night: “Dear bands that can’t decide if you wanna be emo/screamo/pop punk please decide as I’m getting bored”. They go from sounding like early Funeral for a Friend through to a straight intro rip off of TBS. They are utterly boring to watch despite the warm up bravado and big premature jump in the first song. Sadly the early enthusiasm wanes as the singer acts like he’s going through the motions at a rehearsal. He seems to forget he’s on stage trying to win a crowd over. The second guitarist is the only one putting any energy in.  As an opener, if you want people to remember you positively then you need to make an impact and clumsily climbing the barrier to mosh with 4 other people doesn’t cut it. Please take notes from Baby Godzilla.

They are a slightly embarrassing band, thanks to the hair, the singer’s lyric hand actions and the bassist playing his instrument practically at his chin; not to mention the cries for mass bouncing in their penultimate track that sees only 4 people really move. The best part of their set was seeing them take the pop up banners down on stage. It was primed with Chuckle Brother slapstick. Wasn’t a good enough scenario to reference any greats like Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy.

Templeton Pek
Templeton Pek (7 of 9)
Templeton Pek (5 of 9)
Templeton Pek (8 of 9)

Templeton Pek is the next support and I really wasn’t looking forward to them thanks to a vague memory of not liking them. I may have just made it all up; having seen them now it probably is.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about these guys. They are clearly talented and experienced on the support circuit. They play with gusto, heavy guitars and ballsy vocals. I found them reminiscent of the relentless sound of Rise Against but with old school metal riffs. As their third song hit, you could feel the bass and vibrations from the back of the room.

They are an all round solid band and had cheap merch in order to clear the decks and help fund their next album. However, personally, just like with Rise Against, the songs just didn’t hook me in.

As a band I really don’t have anything bad to say about them. As such I feel awful that I haven’t given them more of my time in this review and highlight the more positive elements. Sadly I was on the verge of collapsing at this point and so my ability to concentrate was being exhausted on staying upright.

Taking Back Sunday
Taking back sunday (12 of 16)
Taking back sunday (10 of 16)
Taking back sunday (8 of 16)

This wave and nausea and feeling faint resulted in me loosing my good spot by the mixing desk for a toilet run. Thankfully I managed to compose myself and not hurl. Sitting on the floor of a venue loo that has no toilet seat shows just how rough I felt. I apologise now for helping the loo queue grow for the ladies before TBS started.

Good spot lost I headed to where an open door near the stage provided much needed air and a barrier to lean on; sadly it also resulted in me being stuck by a bunch of tools who wasted good money seeing Taking Back Sunday just to sing at each other and block my view as they filmed elements on a mini tablet of some description.

This is the third time seeing TBS, having seen them tour Tell All Your Friends in the UK, probably over 10 years ago now, and then post the departure of John Nolan, lead guitarist and Shaun Cooper, bassist.

Taking back sunday (3 of 16)
Taking back sunday (4 of 16)
Taking back sunday (7 of 16)

Thankfully they have been back with the band for the last 4 years now back and as they entered onstage their intro music was The Lion King’s Circle of Life. Pretty sure I’ve seen them do this before but the crowd erupted with a mix of cheers and laughter.

Opening with ‘A Decade under the influence’ off their second album ‘Where you want to be’ was an instant crowd pleaser. For the first few songs, as ‘Decade’ was followed by ‘Liar’ and ‘Faith’, Adam could have saved his voice as you couldn’t really hear it over the crowd. Ever the engaging and committed front man, with his big arm gestures and sweeping movements, I was pretty sure I saw him slut drop, never mind the mic swinging and cable wrapping around his neck.

Whenever I see mic swinging I always think of the Brand New line of ‘mics are for singing, not swinging’, a dig connected to their front man’s once upon a time stint in the band as their bassist before being replaced by Adam.

Personally I’ve always found John Nolan’s backing vocals and harmonies more evocative than Adam’s. Seeing him back in the band made me just want to see Straylight Run again, John’s band with his sister post splitting from the band.

With in between banter referencing a twitter dialogue with a fan, mic smashing into face if called a mofo again and how Paris is a cool city that is easy for us to visit but for Adam would be a 14 hour plane ride with swollen ankles in plea to the fans booing the French. During this time we were treated to ‘Timberwolves at New Jersey’ and ‘This Photograph is Proof’ and as ‘Bonus Marsh Pt. 2’ concluded a break was in order as drummer Mark ‘Marco’ O’Connell broke a snare drum. With a run of songs of ‘Ghost Man on Third’, ‘Number Five with a Bullet’, ‘Error: Opperator’ and ‘My Blue Heaven’ we had an impromptu moment on stage.

Taking back sunday (9 of 16)

I had already been briefed about this event and was pretty certain I was standing next to proud parents at the back of the room, ready with camera in hand. A guy called Ben is invited onstage whom promptly gets everyone to thank TBS for the last 15 years that results in quite a harmonious chorus form the crowd, this is before he invites his long time, 8 years together, girlfriend on stage. You know what’s coming next and whilst the romantic in me might think ‘awwww isn’t that cute’, and the married ladies in the crowd will turn to their husbands and demand why they didn’t do that, but what I actually felt was that wave of nausea return as my toes curled and I wondered what song could have been played instead of this “moment’. Cue a Banky Edwards quote from Chasing Amy “Now that my friend is a shared ‘moment’ ”, and maybe it shouldn’t have been. As a great break up, post lovers tiff band to listen to, if they divorce then the band’s music will forever be ruined for them. If you want to see the moment then it’s on Vimeo and surely soon to be on the tube of you where you’ll be able to hear someone shout, “Fuck of” and “Don’t do it”. She said yes by the way.

At this point my ability to see out the gig was over and I had to leave or I’d hit the deck. So what did I miss? The remainder of the set (according to the set list) consisted of ‘You’re So Last summer’, ‘Best Places to be a Mum’, “ I80 By Summer’, ‘Beat Up Car’, ‘Cute Without the E’ and ‘Call Me in the Morning’ and ‘Make Damn Sure’ for the encore. If you’re a Taking Back Sunday fan then this was the perfect greatest hits gig with a great crowd, apart from the numb-nuts by me, in a cool venue. For me it was maybe one too many times as I couldn’t help but look around and wonder where they all were 10 years ago when they were playing Birmingham Academy 2. Maybe that is just the snob in me, but it might also be my age.

Taking back sunday (14 of 16)
Taking back sunday (15 of 16)

(See the complete photo set on our Flick page)

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