Live Review: Decade, Big Spring and Wallflower – Rock City Basement, Nottingham – 10/03/2017

Whenever a band disappears for an extended period of time, they run the risk of being forgotten by fans who move on to something new. For Decade, their recent return marks a new chapter for the quintet. It’s a comeback that sees them release their first record in four years (Pleasantries) as well as push their sound beyond their pop-punk origins. Nevertheless, the record has been welcomed by many and 24 hours from a successful London show, their tour arrives in Nottingham.

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Since we last saw Wallflower with Boston Manor in November, it seems more people are starting to take notice having landed spots at both Download and 2000 Festivals. Tonight opening slot sees them playing to a low turnout yet their brand of sonically quiet-loud emo rock is still convincing. ‘Sleep Forever’ along with a couple of new numbers are filled with passion as their tender moments clash with explosive impassioned blasts. With each viewing, the potential and excitement of Wallflower grows. (3.5/5)

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Fellow Londoner’s Big Spring are next and quickly display plenty of urgency. Their mix of alt-rock with a hint of grunge shows promise as the quartet display a carefree approach. Throughout they produce a wailing wall of sound underpinned by soaring melodies. However, the results are mixed; recent singles ‘5th of July’ and ‘Sleeping On A Bamboo Mat’ don’t quite match the visceral power on record. Nevertheless, there is potential in what Big Spring have to offer. (2.5/5)

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Although it’s considered Decade disappeared for longer than everyone, including themselves, expected they still have a considerable following as tonight’s turnout shows. With a wealth of new songs from their second record, ‘Pleasantries’, ready, tonight allows the Bath-based band to showcase their grunge and Britpop-influenced style. ‘Turn Off Your TV’ and ‘Human Being’ back this up early on, yet the bass-heavy mix of the venue causes Alex Sears’ vocals to get lost meaning his shining hooks aren’t given the service they need.

Older cuts such as ‘British Weather’, ‘Brainfreeze’ and ‘Callous’ fare better, demonstrating the quintet haven’t fully let go of their pop-punk roots. And when complimented by newer cuts such as ‘Can’t Figure You Out’ and ‘Geist’, it’s clear Decade have grown into a dynamic band who can deliver consistently.

Later on, ‘Pleasantries’ highlights ‘Brand New Again’ and ‘Wasted’ prove that, despite their (long) absence, fans have embraced Decade’s new material with open arms. The Bath quintet show their gratitude before closing the night on a high with ‘Daisy May’.

Decade may not have been with us for awhile, but on tonight’s showing, they’re back and better than ever. (4/5)

With the never ending remarks of UK guitar music being “dead”, tonight’s trio, alongside many others, shows that’s not the case. The mix of engaging, subtly diverse rock on offer makes for an encouraging night for British underground rock.


Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86). Photos by Carrie-Anne Pollard.


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