Circa Waves – Newcastle University – 21/03/17

Liverpudlian four-piece, Circa Waves captured our hearts back in 2014 with a variety of sweet summery tunes from their debut album ‘Young Chasers’, and yet returned this year with a much heavier and progressive sound in their most recent record ‘Different Creatures’.

Unlike ‘Young Chasers’ which consisted mainly of summery-melodic anthems, ‘Different Creatures’ captures a more deep and insightful essence to it, through more complex lyrics and layered, dense instrumentals. After striving away from the summer-pop vibe they previously entailed a few years ago, ‘Different Creatures’ was a somewhat unexpected and majorly different new direction for the band to pursue, and they totally pulled it off.

Circa Waves are renown for their upbeat and dynamic live performances and I couldn’t help but be curious to see how the band would perform a blend of indie guitar-pop with more rocky, cynical tracks.

After having a bit of a mare finding the venue I finally got myself to Newcastle University’s Student Union just in time for London-based four-piece, INHEAVEN‘s set. Performing tracks such as ‘Baby’s Alright’, ‘Drift’ and ‘Regeneration’ in an energetic and super passionate demeanour the band managed to hype up the audience despite it only being early on in the night.

This was the fourth occasion that I saw the second support act, The Magic Gang live and I’m adamant that I’ll never tire of this band’s performances. Before the headline act had even stepped out onto the stage the crowd was consumed with adolescent adrenaline. They evidently had a large sum of existing fans in the crowd and are bound to have made some new ones after another impeccable live performance. Old-school, catchy tracks such as ‘All This Way’, ‘No Fun’ and ‘Lady, Please’ were a complete hit with the crowd as the lyrics were bellowed back to the band. All in all, another wonderful performance that confirmed that they remain to be one of my top favourite live bands ever.

By the time headline act Circa Waves entered the stage at around 9:10pm, the crowd was a steaming mess and I did not anticipate it to be so volatile as the band opened with their debut single from the second album, ‘Wake Up’.

The four-piece performed a mix of their much loved summery anthems and their more rocky, heavier content. To my surprise, the songs worked incredibly well together. Tracks such as ‘Wake Up’, ‘So Long’, ‘Fossils’, ‘Different Creatures’, ‘T-Shirt Weather’ and ‘Fire That Burns’ received a noticeably more energetic and warm reaction from the crowd.

An infectious energy consumed the humid venue as frontman Kieran Shudall was as charismatic and friendly as always. He was highly involved with the crowd as he stated, “I know we [the crowd] haven’t peaked yet”.

The band have an incredible live performance ability, whether it’s their instrumentals, Shudall’s impeccable vocals or the sheer positivity that devoured the room as they performed. The music blasted through the venue, sounding clean and crisp making the band addictive to listen to and there’s no denying that it was a bold night to say the least.

Their performance came with a kick and a punch and with such great support acts alongside Circa Waves, you would be mad to miss this chance to see them.