With festival season put to bed for another year, it’s the time of year where a host of mouthwatering lineups hit up your local venue. Tonight in Nottingham, the all-impressive package of Boston Manor, Microwave, Drug Church and Wallflower is in town. It sees a band fresh off the back of releasing their second album to widespread praise and three bands who continue to build a dedicated following.
Despite various tour and festival spots, Wallflower (3.5/5) continue to be a hidden gem amongst the UK music scene. For those who know, know of their impassioned brand of emo alt-rock. As the Rescue Rooms space fills out, the quintet provides an enticing display with Vini Moreira-Yeoell‘s raw vocals being backed by soaring guitars and powerful drum work from Charlie Pollard. Having spent the summer working on their debut album, they offer a taster of it with a new song hinting of a bigger, urgent sound. ‘Magnifier’ is an ideal closer, being the band’s best song to date.
Whereas Wallflower take an introspective route, New Yorkers Drug Church (2.5/5) are more abrasive with an energetic Patrick Kindlon leading the charge. As they prepare to release their third album, ‘Cheer’, tonight is an ideal opportunity for the quintet. With a subtle alt-rock surge, Kindlon’s semi-spoken word delivery gets lost in the mix, losing the desired effect. Nevertheless, their 30 minutes is well received by a steadily packed out room.
For Atlanta quartet Microwave (3/5), this is their second visit to the UK in less than a year, following last winters run supporting Creeper. Tonight, their melodic brand of rock is delivered with a subtle groove. ‘Lighterless’ sees the quartet come into their own with a smattering of recognition from the crowd. ‘Whimper‘ neatly drifts along, highlighting their variation. This is emphasised with ‘Vomit’; its melancholy opening gives way to an onslaught of stomping rock. For those witnessing Microwave for the first time, this a decent showing from an underappreciated band.
Complimented by red strobe lights, the gritty hip-hop-like tone of ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’ opens Boston Manor’s (4/5) set. Straight away the Blackpool quintet ingrains a visceral and explosive sound that is maintained throughout. With ‘WttN’ making up the majority of their set early on, vocalist Henry Cox has a commanding presence, urging the crowd to wake up. Thankfully with new album highlights ‘Flowers In Your Dustbin’ and ‘England’s Dreaming’ along with old favourite ‘Lead Feet’, the packed out crowd duly respond.
It’s clear with these new songs, Boston Manor execute a bigger, and at times, wider sound brilliantly. ‘Bad Machine’, ‘Hate You’ and ‘Funeral Party’ fill the space and simultaneously unite the room. While on stage, it’s clear the band are loving every moment of it as bassist Dan Cunniff and guitarists Ash Wilson and Mike Cuniff thrive off the vibrant energy.
Although Boston Manor are clearly in the element in the present, they also not afraid to remind us of what has come before as ‘Burn You Up’ and ‘Trapped Nerve’ are sliced in later on. Nevertheless, by the time towering hook of ‘Halo’ ends the night, it’s clear Boston Manor are riding a high wave of momentum right now and enjoying every minute of it.