The Blackout – The Roundhouse, Camden

By Tom Aylott

We Are The Ocean

Tonight is a monumental occasion. Not just for headliners, but for British Rock music as a whole, with an all British bill taking on Camden’s Roundhouse.

Birmingham boys PAGE 44 earned their place on this tour by winning the Red Bull Bedroom Jam contest, and they do well to keep the crowd flowing in from the cold streets of Camden occupied, doubtlessly earning themselves a few new fans in the process.

Next up are CANTERBURY, whose self named ‘sweet rock’ style sounds huge tonight in the spacious venue. Getting the fast filling venue bouncing on their feet, they do a great job of getting the crowd even warmer, also giving a good glimpse into their future, which looks big and bright judging by tonight’s performance.

Essex boys WE ARE THE OCEAN have come such a long way – gone are the days of playing in tiny dingy clubs, with a Reading and Leeds main stage slot behind them and the major attention they’ve been attracting recently, there doesn’t seem to be much stopping them right now. Just like tonight’s headliners, WATO’s Dr Jekyll + My Hyde vocal effect courtesy of Liam Cromby and Dan Brown shines perfectly during ‘The Waiting Room’ and ‘Overtime Is A Crime’, and it really wouldn’t come as a surprise if the band were headlining this very venue in the not so distant future.

THE BLACKOUT, aka Sean Smith, Gavin Butler, Matthew Davies, James Davies, Rhys Lewis and Gareth Lawrence, have been on a massive journey to get to headlining this prestigious venue. From seeing them support bands who now lie in the distant background, headlining the tiny Camden Barfly just a few steps down the road and playing countless festivals, this is by far the biggest and most special show so far. They don’t break the crowd in softly, offering up the ballsy ‘This Is Our Time’ from latest album ‘Hope’.

Out of the countless times Punktastic has seen The Blackout adorn a stage, this is one of the best by far, and following the double pounding of ‘Never By Your Side’ and ‘The Devil Inside’, tonight truly shows what the Welsh boys are capable of.

The onstage banter is something that has become a staple part of any TBO set, with Sean and Gavin hurling insults at each other, other bandmates and even the crowd, and though they may not reach Steel Panther levels of ridiculous, they give it a good shot.

After all the sing along favourites like ‘Children Of The Night’ have been ticked off, the moshers get their fix in ‘I’m A Riot? You’re A Fucking Riot!’, and by the time ‘Higher And Higher’ comes along to end the night in true party form, the entire Roundhouse is bouncing on its feet and singing along, even sparking a mass rap-along when it comes to the part usually delivered by Hyro Da Hero.

As everyone turns to leave, a call of “that was so fucking great, let’s do it again!!” in a strong Welsh accent signals a spur of the moment ‘Higher And Higher” take two… see you at Brixton next, lads?



To see more images from the gig, head to our galleries section.