Live Review: With Confidence, Safe To Say, Broadside and Milestones – Rock City Basement, Nottingham – 04/03/2017

Live Review: With Confidence, Safe To Say, Broadside and Milestones – Rock City Basement, Nottingham – 04/03/2017

With Canadian punks Sum 41 playing upstairs in Rock City’s main hall, you would think the turn out for the show happening downstairs would be sparse. Nevertheless, here we are in the Basement with a sold-out crowd ready to see four up-and-coming bands. Tonight’s bill has an international flavour to it with Australia’s With Confidence leading the bill, with support coming from Canada’s Safe To Say, Richmond, Virginia’s Broadside, and representing the UK – Milestones.


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It’s the latter who open the night. Over the past two years, Milestones have gone from strength to strength with this current run preceding a lengthy North American tour supporting Mayday Parade. Somewhat surprisingly they start their set to a large crowd. Although they only have an EP under their belt, the quartet show the benefits of regular touring. Vocalist Matt Clarke shines with a convincing display, especially the balladesque ‘Shot in the Dark’. Overall, their transition towards a more pop-rock sound comes off well, justifying any talk of them being “ones to watch”. (3/5)


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For anyone who’s been following the ongoing pop-punk “resurgence”, will tell you Broadside have been winning over plenty of admirers since releasing their debut LP in 2015. The first UK visit allows us to hear songs from ‘Old Bones’. It’s easy to see why they’re one of the genre’s brightest upstarts. Songs such as ‘Storyteller’ and ‘Human Machines’ are energetic with thriving guitars and soaring vocals courtesy of Ollie Baxxter. He graciously thanks the crowd for their support before closing their set with ‘Coffee Talk’. It’s clear Broadside are well on their way up the pop-punk ladder. (3.5/5)


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Just like Broadside, Ontario’s Safe To Say are making their UK debut. It comes off the back of somewhat underwhelming ‘Down In The Dark’ last summer. Nevertheless, the quartet brings a slightly edgier side to tonight’s bill, with their sound blending emo rock and pop-punk. It’s even something the band address during their
set, yet their quiet-loud approach is well-executed early on with the opening pairing of ‘Only Rain’ and ‘Afterglow’. While the harmonious ‘Tangerine’ suffers from a dense bass line, yet they soon get back on track with ‘Zoey’ and ‘Summer Sickness’. Providing a sonic wall of sound. However, they round off their set all too soon with ‘When I’m Not Here’ nevertheless it’s delivered in a ferocious manner. (4/5)

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Since emerging with last year’s ‘Better Weather’ LP, With Confidence have become one of Australia’s brightest musical exports, and with a packed out room in attendance, it’s clear they’re doing something right. From the moment ‘Voldermort’ hits, the crowd erupts as the quartet quickly lay down their brand of vibrant pop-punk. ‘Archers’ and ‘Tonight’ are delivered with plenty of bounce albeit the latter being restarted. Throughout, they bring some of that Australian summer sun to a rainy Nottingham as their sound is bright and catchy.

While ‘Gravity’ and ‘Long Night’ shows a more reflective and impassioned side. With the latter falling into stereotypical nichés with its standard ballad quips; stripped back with a sea of mobile phones waving. Yet it’s clear through songs such as ‘Higher’ and the explosive ‘Godzilla’, With Confidence know how to write good pop-driven rock songs yet for the neutrals, they lack a lasting impression. Although with news that some of the band’s gear was stolen during the show, you can cut them some slack for not giving it their all.


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Nevertheless, ‘We’ll Be Ok’ is a standout and earmarks the quartet’s strongest points; punchy, harmonious and infectious, before ‘Keepers’ ends the night on a high as a sea of voices sing it back word-for-word.

Admittedly, With Confidence firmly lie in the “sounds like All Time Low” spectrum of pop-punk. On tonight’s showing, it’s obvious they have a dedicated fanbase that is certain to grow with each release. (3/5)

3/5

Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86). Photos by Anthony Shaw Photography and taken at Exchange, Bristol – 26/02/2017.