Considering his recent Grammy and Brit Award successes, Wolverhampton’s Civil Hall was an unlikely home to Sam Smith for two sold out nights on his recent tour in support of his worldwide number-one album, In The Lonely Hour. Judging by the likes of the people queuing outside the Civic, it was clear that his music reaches a wide spectrum of people – I’d say I was one of the younger people there to watch his performance.
Headlining not one, but two nights at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush, the crowds were lining up outside in the rain for Welsh indie rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen on April Fools’ Day on their largest headline tour to date. Following support from northern band Little Comets, a puzzling choice for some seeing as they are a much more established act, the London audience were ready and waiting in numbers for that Pirates of the Caribbean theme to start and signal the start of the show.
Launching onto the scene with singles ‘We Cry’ and ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ back in 2008, it is hard to believe that The Script were returning to Birmingham on their 4th headline tour – where has the time gone?
It has been a whirlwind year or so for singer-songwriter George Ezra. With his single ‘Budapest’ becoming a worldwide hit and his debut album Wanted On Voyage climbing to the top of the charts, the O2 Academy became home to the bluesy singer here in Birmingham. And I couldn’t wait to hear that low, raspy voice fill the main room.
After a successful couple of years touring with the likes of Haim and Ed Sheeran, it was only right that Saint Raymond finally embarked on his own UK tour. With support from Zibra and Fickle Friends, Birmingham’s Institute was packed-out and waiting in anticipation for the Nottingham-born singer-songwriter to arrive on stage. With raucous cheers during an intro with his band that saw the venue lit ablaze with white lights and raging guitars, he launched straight into songs from his first EP, Escapade.
There’s nothing better than a band playing their hometown, especially a small and intimate venue such as the Institute’s Library. This was the second of two dates in Birmingham for Peace, preceding the release of their second studio album Happy People. Another local band, Juice, certainly warmed the crowd up with several mosh pit-inducing songs before Harry Koisser and co. burst onto stage.
From middle-aged men taking selfies at the bar to several groups of teenage girls congregating in matching leather jackets at the back of the room, Royal Blood certainly attracted an eclectic crowd to Birmingham’s Institute. Off the back of their eponymous number one album earlier this year, the duo’s sold out show began with both a raucously wild set by support Turbowolf and Jay Z’s ‘99 Problems’, the latter especially pumping up the crowd and encouraging a room-wide sing-along.