New Found Glory – Birmingham Academy

By paul

New Found Glory + Early November & Hit the Lights
Carling Academy Birmingham,

Fuck National Rail and all its divisions.

Right, so I understand that Brighton and Birmingham aren’t exactly the closest of places, yet a total of six hours on trains, buses and foot to get from my house by the sea to The Birmingham Academy is a bit extreme. Fortunately though, it wasn’t a trip wasted, as tonight’s show was nothing short of a party, headed by a trio of displays of pop-punk brilliance.

When Colin Ross begins to sing the opening line of Hit the Light’s ‘The Call Out’, I’m still trying to decide whether I want to be drinking cider and black or lager this evening. It took a few seconds for me to register exactly what was coming from the stage, but as soon as it had, I and several hundred other kids were flocking to the floor to get the best view possible of one of the year’s most hyped-up pop-punk acts. I was genuinely surprised by the sheer appreciation shown by tonight’s crowd, as I hadn’t realised how large a following the band have already built themseveles. The next twenty minutes is filled with brilliant love-struck numbers such as ‘309’ and ‘Bodybag’, and the band carry off the performance with masses of energy and enthusiasm, and look like they are having bags of fun on stage. It’s only a shame that they didn’t treat us to fan favourite ‘These backs were made for stabbing’, yet the lack of the song did little to dampen the appeal of their performance. Hit the Lights are set for big things in 2007, just you wait.

The Early November failed to impress as much as their predecessors did, yet they still put on a solid performance nonetheless. Whatever you may think about a pop-punk band putting out a 3-disc concept album (bloody retarded in my opinion), they are capable of pulling off their tunes with very little fault. After treating us to near-perfect playbacks of ‘Sesame Schmesame’ and ‘Ever so sweet‘, it’s a damn shame they had to put a black mark on the evening by including a frankly diabolical cover of Oasis’ ‘Champagne Supernova’, which prompted heckling from the crowd, something which I haven’t seen at a show in a long time.

With five full-length albums under their belt come the close of 2006, New Found Glory has every reason to be full of themselves right now. Despite this, they are truly appreciative of the reception their set receives tonight, and come across as humble, and dare I say it – shy. Regardless, it’s not until you see a band like this in action that you realise just how many frankly awesome tunes they have. ‘Hit or Miss’, ‘All Downhill From Here’ and ‘Better off Dead’ are all present and correct, with lashings of new album ‘Coming Home’ included to fill out an hour and a half set. In all honesty, I was expecting to be let down by Jordan Pundik and his merry men, as I have been by so many other big-name punk bands in the past, so tonight was a welcome surprise to myself. Finishing off with an Encore of ‘Dressed to Kill’, ‘Too Good to Be’ and ‘My Friend’s over you’, New Found Glory managed to put a smile on so many faces here tonight, and I challenge you to find a single one of them that wasn’t belting out every word.

Bring on Give it a Name ’07.

Andy R