Published on February 25th, 2013 | by Lucy Onions0
Taking Hayley – #BLNT UK Tour @ 02 Academy 2, Birmingham – 22/02/3013
The last time I saw Taking Hayley live was at Bridgtown Social Club in Hednesford. I was gutted I couldn’t go see them support Mindless Self Indulgence on the last tour, so I was thrilled when I got my photo pass for the Birmingham date of their #BLNT Tour, last night at the 02 Academy 2.
Kicking off the proceedings was Cross Fire; a young, pop-punk band hailing from Stourbridge. Sadly, I wasn’t there in time to get in the photo pit BUT I caught the last couple of songs from their set and, although I felt like the oldest swinger in town who’s heard this genre copied and duplicated again and again, I was impressed. The banter with the crowd was warm and friendly and the smiles on the bands faces throughout the set were contagious.
Next to hit the stage were Bullets In Bowties (above), a young, Cannock based band who offered more of the above and sounded great. It’s always great to hear a good, female vocalist fronting this kind of band and Courtney Hurcombe sang well. Dylan Marshall (Lead Guitar) knows how to rock a guitar solo. The whole band displayed a great energy and companionship and again, the banter with the crowd was excellent.
Third act in were Getaway Club (above) and, I have to say my favourite act of the night to this point. They played with a heavier, rock-punk sound than Cross Fire and Bullets and if I had to liken them to any bands of this ilk, I would say there’s a definite Paramore-The Pretty Reckless sound to their music. Leah Astbury’s vocals were strong, sweet and clear and all in all, the whole band was very tight indeed.
You can see and hear why Glasgow band, Fluorescent Hearts won the Taking Hayley Battle of The Bands competition; they certainly looked and sounded the part. It’s easy to mistake the band’s drummer, Gary Gilmour for Travis Barker of Blink 182 in both looks and playing style. Chris Ashton’s vocals were a delight to hear on ‘Butterfly’ but the highlight of the set, in my opinion, was their excellent rendition of Savage Garden’s ‘To The Moon and Back’. The crowd lapped up every minute of their set.
The penultimate band of the evening was Nuneaton/Coventry based band, Speaking In Shadows and they absolutely rocked the crowd with their alt-punk-screamo fusion. The band bounded around the stage with excited energy and musically, they were very tight indeed. The crowd which had, by now, almost doubled in size, sang back every word. It was a polished and well performed set but my only small criticism is that at times Adam Smith’s vocals went a little out of tune. However, this did not detract from the set as a whole.
Last but by no means least, was the band that EVERYONE was here for, Taking Hayley. You could instantly feel the change in the atmosphere; it felt electric and again, even though I felt like the oldest fan in the room, it didn’t stop me from whooping and hollering along with the screaming crowd. I hadn’t been asked for ID all night until my three song stint in the pit finished for the local, Birmingham band; it seemed the youthful energy of the audience must have rubbed off on me. Here’s the thing; their music isn’t particularly unique (the same must be said for all of the support bands) but it really doesn’t matter in the slightest; Taking Hayley play with everyone ounce of passion they have and they play incredibly well. It doesn’t even matter that they’re not my favourite band; just to see them blowing the roof off the 02 Academy 2 made my night. Theband ploughed as much as they possibly could into their thirty-odd minute set including ‘Tonight (We Come Alive)’, ‘Here I Stand’ and the incredibly catchy, ‘Circles’ but the highlights of the set were ‘Better Luck Next Time’ and my favourite, ‘Up All Night’. The surprise of the set was a cover of Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ which the band really made their own. The band is a joy to watch on stage and their exuberance and energy put huge grins on everyone’s faces, including my own. They have so much love and respect for their fans too and it was great to stand in the background watching them come out to chat with the throng of fans who loyally waited to see their hero’s. I really, truly wish them all the very best and I know we’ll be seeing lots more of them in the future.
You can see Taking Hayley next, supporting Yashin on tour. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/takinghayleyuk#!/takinghayleyuk/app_123966167614127
For more info on all the support bands: