Whilst the Red Room isn’t the biggest of venues for a show hosting two of the most promising UK pop-punk bands, it’s the ideal setting. Local openers Hometown Hero begin the night off with an impressive display. Musically they showcased plenty of drive whereas vocalist Kayleigh Kokkinos was equally impressive but at times was not loud enough. Although the band packed out their set with a couple of cover; a straightforward rendition of Neck Deep’s ‘Part of Me’ and an high-tempo take on ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, I walked off taking note and will keep an ear out for the band’s future activity. (2.5)
The main support for this run of shows is Roam. Depending who or what you believe, then you might know this five-piece are tipped to do good things in the coming months, and despite tonight’s small turnout, they’re still able to back it up. At first they come off as your standard (The) Story So Far type, however, having played throughout the UK and Europe in recent months, the young band win us over with a fiery and energetic display. With vocalists Alex Costello and Alex Adam sharing duties throughout, Roam blast their way through tracks from their first two EP’s and give us a preview of their next EP. From start to finish it is urgency that the crowd and also the band feed off, and leaves us with the feeling that Roam are ones to watch out for. (3.5/5)
Whilst Roam maybe relatively new to the pop-punk game, in comparison Blackpool’s Me vs Hero are veterans. Over the space of 45 minutes they gave it their all. With a wealth of new songs from their recent ‘I’m Completely Fine’ LP being showcased fantastically alongside the occasional old fan favourite, their was no let up from the five piece, even if vocalist Sam Thompson was suffering from quickly digesting a burger from one of the cities finest establishments (Anne’s Burger Shack). Nevertheless Me Vs Hero produced a positive display that fitted the intimate setting perfectly. I’d even go as far as saying they looked at home, and raised the challenge of playing in front of such small crowd. (4/5)
Sure the turn out could of been better but those in attendance witnessed two of the best pop-punk bands the UK has to offer right now. One is on the rise (Roam) and the other is gradually reminding people they still exist and they have the tunes to stay relevant (Me Vs Hero). Together they showed tonight that the UK has the bands in the genre to give the Americans a run for the money, and at the same time keep it DIY.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)