Tonight’s show kicked off at 6:30pm and US pop punk outfit Handguns found themselves on stage at seven, well before the vast majority of the crowd, myself included, had managed to get to the venue. A massive shame as what I do catch at the end of their set is solid and enjoyable. It would be unfair to complain about the stage times, knowing venues have to work with what they’ve got. But 6:30 doors on a week day, given Nottingham’s ability to create gridlock out of nothing, was a total bummer with such a great band opening the show.
By the time Marmozets arrive on stage, however, the venue is beginning to fill pretty rapidly and thank the gods for that. What follows is a show stopping performance of breathtaking intensity, from the first note to the last this northern quintet tear the Rescue Rooms a new one. Delivering their magnificent blend of math and hardcore, Marmozets don’t let up for a second. The closest they come to a break is whilst moving the drum kit, as well as every band member, save singer Becca Macintyre, from the stage to the floor. Marmozets steal the show tonight. Then they played ridiculously complicated riffs whilst rolling around on the floor to it. Marmozets were incredible. (5/5)
With such a tough act to follow, Senses Fail really need to hit the ground running. Unfortunately, they just don’t. The first ten minutes of their set feels sluggish and uninspired. It’s the performance of a band going through the motions and not remotely bothered about maintaining the energy their support bands have created. Then, out of the ether, they step up not just a notch (a notch would still be frightfully dull), but oh so many notches. Out of nowhere the energy seems to course through the band and not long after the crowd really begins to become a part of the show, with a small pit opening up and remaining for the duration. The banter is great and keeps the long set from feeling stagnant and after the rocky start the band really look like they’re enjoying themselves. There’s a good mix of newer songs and Senses Fail classics from years gone by. It’s a tight set, eventually energetic, and despite a couple of shakes in vocalist Buddy Nielson performance the set is excellent. (4/5)
With everything wrapped up before ten o’clock, even the awkward will-they-won’t-they of a possible encore when somebody clearly forgot their cue with the lights, it feels an unusual night. Overall the whole show seems kind of rushed, like a last minute gig thrown together, but it’s a great night with great performances and a positive vibe down the front. Marmozets blew the contenders away to the extent that the seasoned veterans of Senses Fail look like schoolboys for a while. Fortunately, with the headliners pulling it together fairly sharpish, everything ended well and everyone was happy.
Words by Tom Knott. Photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard.