Seconds Apart – The Asylum Venue – April 21st 2017
Friday, April 21st I took a trip down to The Asylum Venue in Birmingham, a venue that has been a mini home for me over the years, to watch the boys; Marx, Led by Lanterns, The Real Cool and Seconds Apart. And boy was it something! I entered the venue only knowing who Led by Lanterns were and with the tiniest bit of research in regards to the other bands. Now this is my favourite thing to do with gigs at intimate venues. I love going into the unknown and experiencing the whole thing from discovering who a band is to watching them live to getting to know them. And it’s from this experience that, before we get to the nitty gritty, I just want to say all of these lads are absolutely the sweetest people you will ever meet! I haven’t been to a gig in a long time where all bands and all members of the bands, were as humble, appreciative and well sweet as all of these boys!
Now the nitty gritty…
… First onto the stage at this intimate venue was Marx. Marx is a rap artist who has also, in the past, dabbled into metal. Standing solo Marx worked the stage with utter confidence, interacting with the crowd and exclaiming his appreciation for being there and to all the other bands (especially the headline act). That alone was lovely to see, but Marx overall was ticking lots of boxes. Now as I said Marx is a rap artist, and that brought a massive twist to the night as the main genre was alternative. And besides his banter on stage, Marx performance was filled with some serious hard work! With well timed and placed beats, song transitions, and some serious lyrical work, Marx filled the venue with a refreshing set. Marx showcased fast lyrical production as well as some more slower paced lyrical build up adding depth to his songs. But he also showed some great music build up too with great use of strings into some of his songs, bringing a classical aspect within his hip-hop sound. As I mentioned at the begin Marx has previously worked within Metal and Pop Punk bands, so with that background you can appreciate that this guy has some serious potential, as he is versatile and talented. With that being said I can honestly say I can’t wait to see more of him and that he is doing a great job.
Second onto the stage were Led by Lanterns, a four piece midland based band who are smashing it! Led by Lanterns consists of Welsh and Brummy lads who are not only great musicians but musicians who are also fronting a great cause, which I will explain towards the end. With their pop punk vibe, the lads fit well into the overall Alternative scene of the night.
Third to the stage were The Real Cool, a three piece band from Birmingham who brought the second twist of the night to life, by bringing a well balanced mix of synth and 80’s pop influence to their dream pop/indie vibes. Now that may not be the best description of this band, to which I can only apologise, however once you hear them and you start to sway to their dancey yet mellow beats you will get the vibe I am referring to.
Finally the Yorkshire boys were on the stage getting ready to show Birmingham what they’ve got. And boy was I not prepared for what was to come!
I will take this time now to say thank you to Marx, Led by Lanterns, The Real Cool and Seconds Apart for such a wonderful show, and for being so welcoming. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me inbetween interacting with each other and the audience. Thank you for being humble, gracious to one another and for showing what music is about.
If you haven’t already go check out these guys and their Facebook pages, they’re all incredible and you won’t be disappointed.
‘Save A Life Surrender Your Knife’ Campaign
Gleam – Suki10c, Birmingham – 29.07.16
Now being able to hear the vocalist meant that finally I and the many spectators could see exactly what Half Asleep have to bring . This perfectly pair with the introduction of their new sound (following their name change), meant that now each members talent was showcased and able to be witnessed. I must admit I am totally digging this shoe-gazey sound so much more!
Showing that they still respect their roots and that they are all about originality, the band performed a new stripped down version of Narcotics which was tastefully and beautifully done. The usually heavy grunge styled number was more toned down, filled with dreamy riffs. Utilising the slowness of this stripped down version, the guitarists were able to perform structured and dragged out chord changes, whilst the bassist was able to stand out and showcase deep tones that added depth to the song. The drums were much lighter enabling the technique to be appreciated, whilst the vocals were softer and had a slight poetic feel to them rather than the husk they usually are.
Ending their set with the ever so energetic Relax and Distill, the band filled the room with their passion. Everyone watching was bouncing along to the beat. All in all it was another great performance from the Birmingham (UK) based five piece.
Finally the headline band Gleam took to the stage and filled the room with their excellent playing and stunning music! But that’s all you’re going to read from me about this set. I thought we’d try something new…
… I’d like to introduce you to an all round nice guy named Perry. Perry is one of the guitarists from Half Asleep, who is also a fan of Gleam. From talking to Perry at the gig, we decided to try something new. So through extensive emails (sorry Perry!) we managed to get an interview done solely around him watching Gleam in the perspective of a support act and a fan. I am very happy with the results and well, take a look for yourself below!
So you’ve just played as support for Gleam, how does it feel playing with a band like Gleam?
P; “Playing with a band like Gleam was pretty cool, being as there aren’t many shoegaze bands in Birmingham, so it was nice to join up with a band on the same bill as us. It was also a pleasure to play with them, considering they are some of the nicest guys I have ever met, and a great band. I mean Gleam are the kind of band you always nod your head too.”
Gleam have a different sound to you guys. So what is it about their sound, in your eyes, that makes them so popular?
P; “Gleam are fairly similar to us, however they do have some key differences. For example, they have a real chilled indie vibe to that really adds to that shoegaze sound they bring. Not to mention the keyboardist very cool, and it adds a sick twist to their music.”
What was your favourite part of the set?
P; “My favourite part of gleams performance was them playing their hit “believe” everybody seemed to know this tune so a lot people were bouncing and nodding their heads.”
As someone in the crowd, what do you think Gleam does best to captivate the audience?
P; “From a crowd point of view the most captivating thing from their performance would of been the music itself. It worked really well with the intimate venue and just sounded huge yet so chilled. As a live performance overall, its so energetic and they really know how to please the crowd.
I did noticed during their set, that one of their guitarists was having some technical difficulties. He really dealt with the issue well and was super calm, I mean to top it off he was a master with the keyboard too.
My all time favourite was when they played, a favourite of mine, Believe. The whole room seemed to know this track and there was so much energy, everyone was bouncing along.”
What do you think of their overall sound?
P; “Their overall sound is mad! The three guitars really adds a cool vibe to the shoegaze sound they are going for, as well as adding a lot of depth to their music. As for the drums and bass, they add that real nice bouncy vibe, yet hold the music together by producing the beat that holds the timing together, and adding that indie vibe. All in all this mix in their music goes together really well.”
And finally, anything you want to add or say?
P; “Just that from me and the rest of Half Asleep, thanks for the opportunity to play with you guys!
Hopefully in the future I’ll get to play with them again, but I will definitely be going to catch them at their next local show. Oh and make sure you check them out and make sure you get down to their local shows.
Big up Gleam!!”
As always thank you for reading this, it means a lot to me! I have had so much fun writing this!
I also want to say thank you to the bands for allowing me to write this, and a massive thank you to Perry for letting me torture you with a ridiculous amount of emails!
Oh and well the bands are great, and you better go check them out!
Apathy – https://www.facebook.com/apathybirmingham/?fref=ts
Oceania – https://www.facebook.com/oceaniatheband/?fref=ts
Half Asleep – https://www.facebook.com/HalfAsleepUK/?fref=ts
Gleam – https://www.facebook.com/gleeeam/