Welsh boys The Blackout are back in town tonight for the rescheduled Norwich date of their 'The Final Party Tour'. Originally set to take place back in October the tour was forced to be postponed by vocalist Gavin Butler's health issues. Thankfully however those are now in the past and the band are raring to go, as are there diehard fans, some of which queue outside in the cold hours in advance.
Along for the ride on this tour are Exeter based party punk band Rat Attack who open up proceedings very nicely. The venue is still relatively empty for our opening act but they do well to garner a decent response from the audience. Their performance is packed with foot stomping, rifftastic, sing-a-long party songs and if their show tonight is anything to go by then these guys will have much success in their careers.
A band whose career appears to be stuck on the support band setting are tonight's main support act LostAlone. I've seen this three-piece numerous times throughout the years with the most recent being last month supporting local boys The Darkness here in Norwich. Each time I've found them to be good without being great and tonight is sadly no different.
Tonight they are probably the best that I've seen them, but sadly I still wouldn't pay to see them at their own show based on this performance. Some newer songs in the setlist are quite catchy but still appear to be missing that special something. At the same time I'll never be sad to see these announced as support for a show I'm attending and if available I'd certainly catch them at a festival. Alas LostAlone appear trapped in mediocre.
Mediocre is certainly not a word I'd ever consider associating with tonight's headliners The Blackout. These six friends from Wales have always put on an entertaining and energetic show in my experience and tonight is more of the same. The venue has filled more in the past hour but the crowd is still on the thin side tonight. Something which vocalist Sean Smith takes advantage of early on, spending the first two songs singing from in the crowd.
The Blackout are certainly passionate about what they do as are their loyal fans known as the Riot Squad. The Blackouts live shows are always full throttle energetic affairs with the band giving it their all onstage and the fans reciprocating in kind. Smith and Butler compliment each over perfectly as co-vocalists and their onstage chemistry is up there with some of the best comedy duos around.
This tour is the last in support of fourth album 'Start The Party' and as you would expect there are a selection of tracks from the record. This material is however probably the weakest of the bands career and is much the same live, paling by comparison to old favourites such as 'Children Of The Night', 'ShutTheFuckUppercut' and the epic 'Save Our Selves (The Warning)' from classic album 'The Best In Town' (an album which was played in full last night in London).
It's the older material that gets the best reactions tonight and for me the highlights come from third album 'Hope' an album that garnered much praise for the band just a couple of years ago. 'Higher & Higher' in particular is a highlight for me tonight setting the venue alight with its fast paced action.
As far as high impact live shows go few do them as well as The Blackout. They should be on every rock fans bucket list of bands to see live and I'm sure they will standout at many a festival this summer. As far as their career goes 'Start The Party' and it's snap release lost a lot of the momentum gathered by the success of 'Hope'. It will be interesting to witness the next step in this bands evolution whenever it does come. Here's hoping that whatever comes next can get the band back to the level of creativity they reached with 'Hope'.