The Broadcast – Birmingham Academy

By paul

The Broadcast. Birmingham Academy 3, April 7th 2010

I have two words about the first act Octane Ok and those words are auto-tune. As much as I hope they weren’t using it I have it on good authority that they were, and from where I was standing it sounded like it. Songs were generic and in my opinion contained little passion or effort. If Octane OK spent as much time working on their music as they do straightening their hair they might actually produce good material. I really don?t like being harsh in these reviews and I don?t doubt that they are skilled musicians but whilst they were full of energy, the pop rock songs they played weren?t anything particularly special and they didn?t stand out from the flooded genre.

Next up were locals Page44 who really know how to put their all into their music. Opening with ?Watch Me Fade? they had an instant stage presence and took feedback problems in their stride. These guys are clearly all about the music and have a strong following with the crowd singing and clapping along. Vocals are shared between Viggy and Stanny and were raw and passionate, reflecting upon the rough ride they?ve had in the music industry over the years. It really surprises me that these guys haven?t gone further because their drive and enthusiasm is admirable. The set included a new song ?If Only for the Night? which was well received and enjoyed by the crowd. Sincerity is definitely a strong point as Viggy took time to thank the fans for all the birthday gifts and cards he received and he along with the rest of the band seemed genuinely honoured to be on stage. If you like your music on the indie side of pop check them out.

Francesqa were the third band on and again I was overwhelmed with how passionate these guys are about their music. Front man Ashley moved around the stage without pretense and the music was light and poppy whilst skilful. Sweet and melodic vocals mixed with heavier guitars and drums created a delightful mix and the band seemed to work together flawlessly. The overall mix was good with catchy riffs and drumming supporting the vocals. Songs are cleverly constructed and it?s clear that these guys have a lot of musical talent. Similarly to Page44 Francesqa had a lot of support from the crowd and got a really strong response considering this (I think) was their Birmingham debut. This is another band I?d really recommend checking out.

I didn?t know much about headliners The Broadcast before the show but I really enjoyed their set. The crowd were constantly whipped up and jumping in unison and the band played with enthusiasm. The set was only 40 minutes long but was filled with pop rock songs which would rival Kids in Glass Houses and the like. Considering these guys are relative new comers they sounded very well put together without losing that live edge that makes gigs so special. The gig ended in a show of camaraderie with Francesqa and Page44 invading the stage in a conga line and getting involved with the closing song.