It could be said that The Blackout are “veterans” of the modern British rock scene. Throughout their time together they’ve built a strong following yet never cracked that glass ceiling to play the big venues they have always aspired to. However with a new EP to share with the masses, they’ve hit the road with Yashin and When We Were Wolves and tonight they’re in Nottingham.
For the openers When We Were Wolves, they have the somewhat tricky task kicking off the night to a small crowd. Nevertheless the Welsh band showcase their pummelling brand of metalcore in a decent light. However they’re just one of many bands that are aiming to be the next Architects or Bury Tomorrow, and as a result they come off as fairly generic. They might have the breakdowns and the riffs to entice some in, but When We Were Wolves lack a long lasting impact. (2/5)
Next up is Yashin, who joined the tour after the far more impressive Chiodos pulled out after internal problems. Sure the Scots aren’t as bigger as them but they seem more than willing to step up to the plate tonight. Early on vocalist Kevin Miles displays an impressive set of lungs, whilst musically the quartet don’t stray far from the melodic hard rock style. Whilst the bands American vocalist Harry Radford tries to get the crowd moving by performing in the centre of the floor. Thankfully it pays off and the crowd respond strongly throughout the remainder of their set. From mass singalongs to frenetic circle pits, Yashin pull off an impressionable set. Although some of their numbers do bring about the nostalgic tag of sounding like a “MySpace band” however after a rough couple of years; label and management issues, have potential to get things back on track. (3/5)
Although The Blackout may have not hit the mainstream as head as many had hoped throughout the years, they’ve still built a strong repertoire of songs that are capable of winning over sceptics and please their longtime fans. Tonight they do exactly that but only just. From the start are throughly energetic and aren’t afraid to delve into their back catalogue with ‘I’m A Riot? You’re a Fucking Riot’ and ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ getting early airings.
As always Gavin Butler is the superior vocalist with Sean Smith complimenting him as the entertainer; at one point climbing onto the balcony via bar at the back. Together they produce a hard rock party-like atmosphere that the crowd feeds off. Noticeable highlights include ‘Children of the Night,’ ‘Ambition Is Critical,’ ‘Start The Party’ and ‘Higher & Higher.’ All of which have feelgood choruses and do the job of getting this upbeat crowd moving.
Whilst stylistically they may not win over the neutrals, from tonights showing its clear The Blackout have plenty left in the tank as they are tight-knit, entertaining unit that leaves you walking with a positive impression. (4/5)