Madina Lake – Camden Electric Ballroom, London

By paul

Plus The Audition, Flood of Red and Yashin
8th May 2009

Tonight?s openers Yashin are a clich‚ in every way they possibly could be, but they?re just so damn good at it, you can go ahead and forgive them for their haircuts and predictable stage moves. Although they battle with sound difficulties that hamper all of the bands on the bill, they put in a solid performance and do a half-decent job of warming up the room.

Flood Of Red on the other hand struggle to hold themselves together. The bass-heavy sound completely drowns out the guitars and, through little fault of their own, they end up sounding messy. Still, they play valiantly, and ending on a remarkable six-man drumming spectacle (a trick which they may or may not have borrowed from their friends in the Xcerts) ensures that the Glaswegian sextet have made their mark.

I?ve often thought The Audition?s Danny Stevens has one of the strongest voices in the current pop-punk scene, but tonight he struggles to prove that. Still, when he does hit the notes, his voice shakes the room to its core. Leading the band through a set that strangely seems to ignore their second album, he makes up for his average vocals with his ability to work the crowd. Still, it must be frustrating when your biggest cheer of the evening is actually the crowd collectively wetting themselves over a brief appearance from YMA6?s Josh Franceschi.

Tonight?s show is the last stop on Madina Lake?s current jaunt around the county, and boy, do they go out with a bang. Nathan Leone is one hell of an entertainer, and despite his somewhat cheesy between-song banter, their set is truly astounding from start to finish. The reason Madina Lake have earned the ability to play sell-out shows like this one at the Electric Ballroom, is they write anthemic, infectious songs, the likes of ?House Of Cards?, ?Here I Stand? and ?Pandora? all sounding phenomenal here. Despite Attics To Eden?s release being only days ago, the crowd are word-perfect on the handful of new tracks played with ?Never Take Us Alive? generating the biggest singalong. As a band, Madina Lake ooze confidence and with a live show as enjoyable and action-packed as this, it?s a confidence one can?t argue with.

Andy R