Finch – Camden Electric Ballroom, London

By paul


Armor For Sleep are slightly different from other pop-punk bands breaking through. Firstly they have three albums to draw from, but I never liked Dream To Make Believe and haven’t really given the latest album a chance despite What To Do When You’re Dead being one of my favourite pop-punk albums. Armor For Sleep seem to have a slight darkness to even their most upbeat songs and this makes them sound far more interesting than they actually are. Live they just don’t cut it though, and even the songs from WTDWYD sound dull after a few seconds. Musically they seem to be entertaining enough for the most part but it’s vocally where they are really let down as Ben Jorgensen (lead vocals) has no one backing him up to add any emphasis to the choruses, or any part of any song for that matter.

Tonight they give it a lot but do not come off that great. Having not listened to the new album and not seen the band live since they toured WTDWYD I cannot be sure if it’s the songs that are failing or just that the band are tired, but they were entirely forgettable regardless.

But tonight was never about the support bands anyway, tonight had room for only one headline: Finch Are Back! The review could end there and I think people would understand and then lose themselves in a torrent of giggles. When I last saw Finch they were playing the Astoria touring Say Hello To Sunshine and it was a chore watching them. The passion that I had heard people mentioning in reference to their gigs was non-apparent and they seemed to be even struggling to go through the motions. Tonight they were as people had described previously.

Drawing perfectly from both albums so as not to alienate the fans of either, they managed to race through the set as though their hiatus had been spent drinking battery acid. Playing Letters To You as their third song was a surprising and potentially risky move but, safe in the knowledge that they were playing to die hard fans and still had What It Is To Burn on the horizon, the move was a perfect way to get people involved from the off and the crowd didn’t need much encouragement. Additionally, the new songs, scheduled for a 15th July release, seem to be more like SHTS musically but vocally more reminiscent of WIITB and so sit seamlessly in the set.

The only downfall was the drummer not sitting comfortable with the WIITB songs, but this can be forgiven after a show of such fulfilled anticipation. I have waited a long time to see this band perform like this and so the abundance of smiles from myself, my friends and my mum when we left the venue left me feeling that the only thing better than Finch taking the hiatus when they did was them returning with such vigour.