New Comers in Second City Hardcore
I love a good hardcore gig. What makes a hardcore gig better you ask? When it’s a mates fest. What could make that even better? All those mates are debuting their bands on the same night!
This all happened at The Sunflower Lounge on 3rd October – and what a night it was! A sold-out show with Gassed Up headlining as well as MTXS and Vendetta on the lineup – already a banger – and then Blinded Media (the promoters) throw in a giant curveball; why not add 3 new local bands who have never played a show before, two of which have little to no music out yet either? Ballsy move.
But it paid off massively.
So, let’s take a look at the bands who played their very first sets that night and praise the Birmingham hardcore scene while we're at it shall we?
This is where we begin the list of newbies and begin bigging up mates for doing a sick job. Reckless Harm are a young beatdown band, currently with only 3 members, two of which aren’t even legally old enough to drive yet so I’m really not sure how they pulled off what they did. Tom has stepped in on vocals essentially last minute and he smashed it. He’s got the whole frontman thing down right from the get-go which surprised me (in a good way!). He’s one of the nicest people I know and then he gets on stage and pulls out this whole other personality that fits so comfortably on stage in a beatdown setting, and he’s pulled it right out the bag for their first gig! I’m looking forward to seeing the band grow (both in members and in experience) and seeing what they can do.
Figure.09 is a one-man rap/grime artist, so nothing like the rest of the lineup, but hardcore and grime mix well together (case and point; Astroid Boys) and the crowd was very receptive to him. It was for good reason too because he’s good. Forget your local SoundCloud “I’m a rapper” eboy if that’s what you’re thinking of because you couldn’t be more wrong. He’s got one of those voices that was clearly just made for it and the writing talent to go with it. I’m not usually overly a rap or grime fan but he’s too good to not pay attention to.
Dan finished his set with his song “Ghost” and I’m not over exaggerating when I say it almost brought me to tears. The only reason that I didn’t cry was that I was trying my best not to so I didn’t look like a wimp in front of everyone I was trying to impress. It’s a slower song so you can listen to the lyrics rather than being caught up in the beat and the power his voice gave to those lyrics made me emotional. I think a lot of people can relate to this song and so I recommend that even if you only listen to one song, make it that one.
Now, before we go into this one, I will have to hold my hands up and admit my very large bias towards this band. This is my boyfriend’s band so I’m good friends with every single one of them. Having said that, do not think I’m saying any of this just because of that - if I thought they were bad I just wouldn’t have written this whole post!!
Loose Ends are the second band on this list to have been playing for the first time ever. For frontman Chris is was his first-ever experience being on stage with any band at all, so props to him for doing so well. They also haven’t released any music as of yet, so no one really had any idea what to expect (well, I did - I get to hear their ideas as Jonny records beats onto his phone walking round the isles in Tesco) but to everyone else they were currently a mystery and it could’ve gone either way. I think this reflected in the crowd slightly, there were people I saw later on who hadn’t come down early to check out the new meat, but they’re the ones who missed out. It went the best way that it could’ve, and they kicked off the pits and set the tone for the rest of the night despite nerves running high. They go hard, they’re not here to play. They’re here to make you want to punch your mate in the face.
Off the back of that performance, they got put straight onto another local show for October 31st, complements galore and even an offer to record their EP. Don’t sleep on Loose Ends.
Blossom & Burn
Here is new band number 3, the third and final. Big things were expected from Blossom & Burn, another local beatdown band. It may have only been their first show, but their first EP has been out for a whole year, all written and recorded by frontman Harry Barlow. So, everyone knew it should go hard, but did it? Of course it did. Obviously.
It was at this point the venue really started to fill up, and during this set the whole show sold out.
Harry is a phenomenal frontman, clearly in his element on stage, beaming from ear to ear at the crowd reaction between vocals, even when he is being heckled by friends and trying to ignore it. He couldn’t for long, not when the rest of the band began to join in too and before long half of the room were shouting Garry Barlow. A clear reflection of the love for both him as a person and for the band too.
They followed up this show with a second performance at a second sold-out show the very next day in Wolverhampton, so they’re definitely quickly becoming one of the biggest bands in the Birmingham scene alongside the likes of Cruelty, Ill Vision and Cauldron and I wouldn’t be surprised if they soon start to announce big things.
Vendetta kicked off the night for the more seasoned bands followed by MTXS and headliners Gassed Up, all of which played great sets as expected, continuing to prove what a great scene UK hardcore is to be apart of, and the crowd equally proving the 0121 do it best with a few bloody noses to end the night.
Special shout out to Mason from Blinded Media for putting on such a great show and having me in to shoot the bands – don’t forget to take a look at their current shows and keep an eye out for their future announcements.
If you’re a band, promoter, record company or gig photographer (especially local to the Midlands) drop me an email -which you can find on my contact/PR page- or dm me on insta and we can chat about working together!