Every Avenue – Birmingham Academy 2

By Andy

This Time Next Year opened the show to somewhere between 50 and 100 people which is a massive shame as these guys were the band of the night for me. Even though the crowd was sparse and pretty lifeless frontman Pete Dowdalls showed an insane amount of enthusiasm and humour throughout the set and most definitely bought his best moves with him as he danced around the stage. Clearly pleased to be in the UK and full of spirit from the reception they received at Slam Dunk, TTNY play good honest pop punk, full of emotion and built on hard work. These guys are not messing and their set shows sheer determination to give it their absolute all. They played songs of their album “Road Maps and Heart Attacks,” which are mature sounding and well structured and contain future sing-a-longs that we all need to be looking out for for when they come back to the UK. (4/5)

Me Vs Hero were second on, coming on stage to their superhero introduction. By this time a few more people had shown up and the atmosphere in the Academy was a bit more vibrant. I’ve not seen these guys since January and I was impressed by how much they’ve developed over only a few months. Not just another pop punk band, Me Vs Hero have a pounding rhythm section and passion oozing from their stage presence, giving the impression of an extremely professional looking band whose success has been built on hard work. A bit too much bass and drums were coming through the mix, but that’s not unusual for the Academy 2 but at least the vocals were reasonably clear. The set included the infectious ‘Days That Shape Our Lives’; the video to which is available to watch now. (4/5)

Out of Sight had a much more balanced sound which made my ears feel a bit better. Snappy vocals and up-tempo drums mixed with gang vocals created an enthusiastic crowd pleasing set with clap-a-longs and even a bit of movement from the fairly young looking crowd. ‘This Is What Living Really Feels Like’ was a highlight of the set and Out of Sight looked comfortable and played well together. I’ve never really paid much attention to Out of Sight which was clearly a mistake on my part as the band are yet another great home-grown act with enjoyable southern accents which creep in from time to time.(3.5/5)

The crowd didn’t get much bigger for Every Avenue and the venue was probably only about a third full. As the set started my initial thoughts were rudely interrupted by the ridiculously bright lights on stage causing me to squint for a while making lead singer Dave a bit blurry. Ironic because if he had drunk as much as he was bragging about then chances are the crowd were a bit blurry for him too. Whilst I don’t mind Every Avenue on CD, there’s something a bit disconcerting when a hundred 14 or so year old girls are singing “Stuck between her legs where she sets her trap, what can you do with a girl like that?” The mixture of questionable lyrics and talk of drinking, drugs and stripping made me cringe and wonder exactly what example Every Avenue are trying to set. The sound was again a bit questionable with barely audible lyrics at times and too much of the drums and bass. The crowd seemed to really enjoy the show and judging by the amount of people waiting by the stage door, Every Avenue clearly have a dedicated fan base who were more than happy with the performance. (2/5)