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Friday, 3 October 2014

Decade - Swindon Level 3, 02/10/2014


Not many bands choose to perform concerts in, or even around, Swindon, so a line-up as stellar as the one at this show is highly unusual for our little town. 
Opening band With Ghosts are local, so you probably haven't heard of them, but I recommend checking them out because you won't be disappointed. The first time I saw them, as opening support for Don Broco, they didn't really stand out all that much, but in the past two years they've definitely been working harder and honing their craft. The results are easy to observe. Musically they don't exactly stand out from the crowd (with some songs sounding similar to You Me At Six and New Found Glory), but their lyrical content places them miles above the rest for new and unknown bands. If With Ghosts don't experience larger, widespread success at some point in the near future it will be a damn shame. They're recording their debut EP next month, so hopefully you'll be hearing this name more very soon. 
Second up were Hey Vanity. Their set was comprised mostly of new mini-album 'Blindfolds', which is a perfect example of the talent rising through the UK rock scene. The members of Hey Vanity had already experienced quite a high level of success with their previous band, Fei Comodo, but it's great to see the fairly new band getting a great reaction too. New song 'Playground', performed for the fourth time at this show, demonstrated which direction Hey Vanity were going to be heading with their new music and it definitely shows a lot of promise. Some of their older songs sound quite similar and seemed safe, but the new tune proves that they're extending their music to appeal to a wider audience. I can't wait to see what they bring with their next release. 
The band I had the highest hopes for at this show was Light You Up, who definitely did not disappoint. They were one of the bands I'd been hoping to see at Slam Dunk festival back in May, but sadly the queue was too long so we missed their set time, so seeing them live tonight was highly anticipated. I cannot praise the energy of frontman Tom Napier enough; while the previous bands had been great musically their stage performance was rather static, but Light You Up bought the exact opposite to their set. Tom was in the crowd more than he was on the stage, even performing half of a song hanging off of the balcony in the venue. I haven't heard many of their songs before, but their newest single 'Always Wanting More' (featuring Alan Day from Four Year Strong) which was only released yesterday received one of the most energetic crowd reactions of the night. The lyrics 'All we've ever known' couldn't seem to apply better because despite the fact that Light You Up are one of the least experienced bands on this line-up, they also seemed to be the most passionate and dedicated to their craft. If you don't pre-order their album, 'All We've Ever Known' you're making a huge mistake. 
Finally it was time for the headliners, Decade. This was my fifth time seeing Decade, so I knew what I was expecting from their live show, but for the first time they really stuck in my mind, seeming more memorable than they have before. I don't know if this is because of the experience they've gained while touring 'Good Luck' but never before have I seen Decade looking this confident in the music that they've created. You can't exactly call Decade genre-smashing, but they perform the pop-punk conventions perfectly, showing that the UK really is the place to watch for upcoming pop-punk bands. One of my complaints with their debut album is that it was extremely well written lyrically, but some of the songs sound too similar to distinguish between them easily. This is still an issue in the live environment, but by playing the entire album in full interspersed with older songs 'Won For Sorrow', 'Never Enough' and 'Low' it breaks up the similarities enough to keep their set interesting and not draining. 'I Don't Care' is still the stand out song for me, but the crowd were reacting amazingly well to the entire set, proving that their fanbase is growing and it's an extremely dedicated one. When I reviewed Decade supporting Mayday Parade I was not as impressed as I was tonight, showing that an extra seven months experience is a lot in the world of touring. Their banter is still lacking ("Can you tell how well our banter on stage has developed?" "Well we just do the music part, we're not charismatic...") but when the songs are this fun to dance to that is hardly an issue. If you can get along to see Decade supporting We Are The Ocean next month I would highly suggest you do as I'm sure that will be a night to remember. 

Setlist: 
Fools Gold
Callous
Woke
Coffin
Won For Sorrow
Brainfreeze
Never Enough
I Don't Care
Good Luck
Low 
Homebound
Fake Teeth
British Weather

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