Live Review: Boston Manor, Can’t Swim, Wallflower & Catch Fire – Rock City Basement, Nottingham – 21/11/2016

Having released one of the debut albums of the year in ‘Be Nothing.’ last month, Boston Manor return to Nottingham as part of a rare UK headline tour.

Local (and familiar) favourites Catch Fire open the night with their brand of melodic pop-punk. Having honed their sound on a recent UK tour, tonight gives the quintet a chance to pick up some new fans. With a sound that firmly sits well alongside tonight’s headliners, the five-piece grow with confidence with every show. However the usual unknown opener, somewhat, effects the mood with there being a lack of energy in the growing crowd. Nevertheless, newer cuts such as ‘Reality’ and ‘Thin Ice’ show promise as they work towards their sophomore EP early next year. (3.5/5)

Next South London up-and-comers Wallflower produce an engaging display of emotional alt rock. Drenched in lyrical melancholy, the quintet offer a more relaxed display compared to the headliners. Nevertheless, the combination well-paced instrumentation and impassioned vocals make Wallflower an exciting prospect, even if this isn’t exactly their usual crowd. (4/5)

New Jersey natives Can’t Swim are making their UK debut on this visit. Having released the promising ‘Death Deserves a Name’ earlier this year, the four-piece showcase it in an equal light. Songs such as ‘Right Choice’ highlight the bands sturdy drumwork and ’s raspy vocals. While new single ‘Stranger’ carries itself with urgency and a subtle hook. Overall, it’s a strong showing for a band who continue to be ones to watch. (3.5/5)

Having done the rounds as support for numerous bands, Boston Manor step up as headliners with confidence. An early one-two punch of ‘Burn You Up’ and ‘Lead Feet’ are instantly well-received, sending a dedicated group in the crowd into a frenzy. With older cuts from last year’s ‘Sauade’ EP sliced inbetween new favourites such as ‘Cu’ and ‘Kill Your Conscience’, it’s clear Boston Manor’s lengthy time on the road has been beneficial. While past showings has seen Henry Cox’s vocals falter, tonight he is self-assured clearly enjoying the adulation of the crowd.

As they wrap up their set with the impassioned ‘Trapped Nerve’, the North West group return for a rare encore which sees ‘Peach State’ being rolled out to much apprecation. With an impressive full-length and an improving live show, Boston Manor are living up to their potential. (4/5)

4/5

Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86). Photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard.

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