LIVE: Man Overboard / Moose Blood / Roam / Smile and Burn @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

By Chris Marshman

Tonight marks the second date in Man Overboard’s first UK headline run in a fair while. The tour, originally scheduled for late last year before being postponed due to health reasons sees Man Overboard supported by a host of the UK and EU’s finest up and coming bands. The result tonight is a sold out show in Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach.

First up is German punks Smile and Burn who do a good job of warming up the crowd, their infectious hooks ensuring that they’ve gained a couple of new found fans within in the Welsh capital.

The last time Roam played Cardiff they were headlining a tiny basement venue just across the road, so to say that Clwb Ifor Bach is a bit of a step up, and especially a sold out Clwb Ifor Bach is an understatement. Almost palmed off in the early part of their career as The Story So Far wannabes, tonight’s performance is from a Roam who have shaken themselves free of that tag. Tonight, Roam are confident and assured in their music and are now their own band. Having signed to Hopeless Records at the tail end of last year, and having a pretty well received EP released early this year, the future looks especially bright for this lot.

A band that need no introduction are tonights main support, Moose Blood, who in all honesty would probably do a good job at selling this show out tonight themselves. From the moment they hit the stage to the tones of ‘Bukowski’ it’s clear that all of the hype that surrounds this band is fully justified. Singalongs a plenty, their set tonight is a pick of the hits from their debut album ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time to Time’ which is no issue at all considering how good it is. Moose Blood are on the verge of blowing up in a big way and based on tonight’s performance and audience reaction, it won’t be long before we’ll be seeing this band in venues bigger than this in the near future.

Man Overboard have done well to sell out tonight’s show, almost certainly helped by the stellar supporting cast, the band still come on stage to a fairly full Clwb Ifor Bach. What follows is an impressively lengthy set that does its best to span the career of the Philadelphia pop punkers. Inevitably it’s songs from further back in their back catalogue that go down the best and inspires the bigger singalongs, ‘Montrose’ and ‘Love Your Friends, Die Laughing’ still sound as good as they did when they were first rreleased. Known for being a bit sloppy in their live show, Man Overboard do well tonight, while not perfect, they still sound better than they have done.

As Man Overboard leave the stage to the tones of ‘Dear You’ all of the bands on tonight’s bill can reflect on a job well done. Tonight was a showcase on what Europe and the UK has to offer, topped off with a healthy dose of cathartic pop punk just for good measure.