Closure in Moscow – The Rainbow Venues, Birmingham – 08.11.2015

Surprise You’re Dead Music always get a good line up, and this was no exception. In one of my favourite venues, an amazing night unfolded…

Rubio –

Rubio were the first band to play and they were really something else, with a soft rock indie vibe and a style I’d never heard before. A totally unexpected pleasure. A band of few words, that provided beautiful music without lyrics. Yes; without lyrics. It was great watching them as you got to appreciate the instruments on their own, raw talent with no vocal distractions. This band had a feel similar to Two Door Cinema Club, sometimes leaning more towards You Me At Six in songs where the feel was overall heavier, more rock than indie. These parts seemed in place of a defined vocal chorus, but in my opinion worked just as well, if not in some ways better.
The bass was simple, clear and clean throughout their set but worked well, a nice change from the usually heavy bass feature in bands I’m used to seeing. There was minimal stage presence, which I’m not the biggest fan of because I love when personalities shine through, but in this case it really helped you to get a feel of the music and enjoy it. The drummer was the most expressive, really enjoying himself. I love a good expressive drummer the faces they can’t help but pull amuse me no end, and this guy was no exception. Something I loved about them being instrumental was that it would’ve been obvious if anyone messed up, guitarists especially, but not once did this happen during their set!
The experience overall was good and I’d happily see them again. Although it obviously isn’t their style, I’d love to see the kinds of lyrics these guys could write and fit in with their music, I think it’d be very interesting. The hard work and effort they obviously put into their music has paid off no end and it shines through when they perform.

Atlas: Empire-

The second band to play were Atlas: Empire and they were a BIG change from what we’d just heard with Rubio. They had vocals, screaming and a much heavier feel. The first thing I noticed with this band was their stage presence. Because of the lack of stage presence in Rubio, it was good to see this band really making themselves known and being interactive, it felt like the gig atmosphere I am used to; a performance.
Every member of this band is extremely talented, without a doubt. Throughout their set their strengths shone bright and they were fantastic. The bassist and guitarists have amazing voices, one of the guitarists being the screamer, all delivering amazing sound. Now, I want to give a special mention to the drummer of this band. He was in time, powerful (but not overwhelming), no noticeable mistakes were made and he was fantastic. I’m giving this special mention because an announcement the band made caused his talent to stand out over the rest; he’d been in the band for only 7 weeks! Already on tour with them and performing this well, it emphasised his talent even more.
Everything to do with their sound was balanced, clear and well done. These boys are from Glasgow and throughout their set there were moments where their lovely accents came through, bringing a twist to their sound vocally. Overall these guys were very good, I loved their set and their songs are both written and performed very well.

Icarus the Owl-

Well, Icarus the Owl. One word: Animated. This band’s stage presence was fantastic and they are all INCREDIBLY talented. The main vocalist and the bassist are the two who really bring the performance. Both fill the stage with movement, bringing the stage to life, making themselves seen. The guitarist on the other hand, although doing some movement and clearly enjoying himself, he also put his back to the audience a lot; which strangely bought an air of mystery to the performance and really works quite well!
Instrumentally, every member bought something special and they were all absolutely spot on. The drummer was very neat, very fast and everything sounded clean and clear; the guitarist provided second vocals and played mainly on the neck of his guitar rather than the body, something that I always think looks super cool and must take A LOT of practice; the vocalist, playing guitar as well as throwing out fantastic vocals, one again playing on the neck of his guitar for some parts (SO cool).
The vocals of this band were awesome, nothing particularly quirky stood out but they were so strong and harmonised throughout it was powerful. The main vocalist had a sound similar to a vocalist I’m very fond of, Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco. Thinking about it, the music as a whole was also a strange mix of Panic! At the Disco and Enter Shikari.

Closure in Moscow-

Closure in Moscow were the headline band and very rightly so! They were absolutely amazing and their set was a total work of art. From stage presence to the way their interacted with each other they were wonderful. This band are a bundle of energy; pure and uncontained. The front man and lead singer was simply brilliant, jumping around, hyped and animated – a performance on its own. The movement was constant, the stage presence was IMMENSE and they genuinely lit up the room with their personalities. Their crowd interaction was spot on throughout with loads of banter and jokes, keeping the crowd entertained in the best way. One of the best parts of this gig has to be the obvious bromance between the bassist and the drummer. Now, I love a good bromance, but this was beyond good. It was funny and well-timed and yet another source of humour from these boys.
The music side of this band was also incredible, they’re clearly all very talented. The lead vocals consisted of catchy fast temp and talk-singing; which I love, it can bring a whole new element to a song. Back-in vocals were perfectly harmonised with the lead and made their snazzy dance moves even better. The guitars were quick, skilled and perfectly in time, the bassist was always in time, clearly giving his all.
Every member of this band screamed talent and they bought an amazing end to an amazing gig.

This whole experience was something else, such diverse and new musicians making seriously wonderful sounds. If you haven’t already, go check out their music on YouTube (there’s some videos below!) or even better, get yourself to a show!

As always, thank you for reading guys, see you next time, Leanne & Kirsty xxx

Sadly Rubio seem to be invisible online! If anyone finds a link to a video or ANYTHING, let us know in the comments!

Atlas : Empire – Long Live The New Flesh

Icarus The Owl – Skysweeper

Closure In Moscow – Seeds Of Gold

Skywalker – The Rainbow Venues, Birmingham – 14.10.15

   As promised I have wrote a little review about the gig I went to last Wednesday (14th October) in my hometown. In this I’m not going to talk about individual songs but more the actual performances. The reason I went to this gig was to support my friends, but it was also the tour date for Skywalker (yes my friends supported Skywalker). This was a bit of a win for me, not only did I get to watch my friends perform and support them but I got to see Skies in Motion and Skywalker! What more could you want then to see good bands with your friends ay! 

   When I arrived there was a band called Hell and Home playing, but unfortunately I didn’t catch a lot of their set but what I heard had some potential. The second performance of the night was that of This Memory. I know a couple of these lads so I may be a bit biased here, but they did good! As always guitarists and lead vocalist were heavy movers around the stage bringing visual performance to their set. Performance wise musically is always good, in time and to a high standard. Can definitely tell this isn’t a “hobby” which some may presume with their age. Vocals range from screaming to singing and feature different members of the band, all of which are talented. Guitars including bass are clean and sharp, and interaction with the audience was good as it also included involving them with some of the lead vocalists movement within the performance. 
   Third to play were Sextapes. The majority of this band are my nearest and dearest friends, I’ve known them for years! So prepare for some biased views (I can’t help it they’re great lads). Sextapes have a vibe similar to that of Enter Shikari with that their lyrics aren’t always sung/screamed. Vocalist is a bit of a joker so communication with the audience can be entertaining too. Something that really stood out to me was the professionalism they all had, their was a mishap in that a strap on a guitar couldn’t be reattached as their was a broken item on the actual guitar (technical term is unknown to me I apologise) but the guitarist continued to play the set sat down to ensure there was no interference with the overall performance. The set continued with everyone being very unaffected by this lack of strap. 
   Thirdly, Skies in Motion stepped up and performed their set. They’re sound is good! Stage presence is such a key item with this performance as lead vocalists was moving around and interacting with the audience in this intimate setting (The Rainbow basement is a small room without an official stage). Guitarists were moving around, jumping and even dancing throughout the whole set. Their music is just as good! Clean, in time, well put together and performed, which always makes music that bit better. I think it would be intriguing to see a longer set and see what they can bring when they’re in a larger venue. Something one of my friends I went to the gig with picked up was the use of strobe lighting. Strobe lighting can always add something to a performance but what she found worked well was the way jumps were timed to the strobe so it created a more intense visual than that of just using a strobe or not having any lighting at all. What I find great about the use of strobe lighting is when a performance includes heavy head movement it just works so well with the strobe and makes it different to the head bang you normally see. Skies in Motions use of the strobe lighting was clever and tactful, we enjoyed. And finally, the last performance was that of the headline act Skywalker. 
   Skywalker’s performance truly finished the night off. A well put together performance including good interaction with the audience, it wasn’t just chit chat it included important beliefs and opinions. These lads are passionate and that radiates though their music and performance. Stage presence was amazing, not one member of the band was still and all genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves. What I loved about this performance was it didn’t feel rehearsed, it felt fresh and raw. Sometimes, especially larger gigs, a performance can feel over rehearsed and you can tell that they do the set over and over as its perfectly timed to the second and sometimes band members can even look bored. This certainly wasn’t a vibe given off by Skywalker. From what I hear too these lads are super nice and real down to earth, which are such good qualities to have as a person anyway but even better when you’re in a band.