Tonight marks my first visit to one of Norwich's newest live music venues. Known as Epic Studios this large complex was formally home to ITV's Anglia TV studio. The lure for me tonight are rising UK rockers Blitz Kids who are halfway through a headline tour in support of new album 'The Good Youth'. My first impressions of the venue are that it has great potential for hosting live music, and not just smaller shows like this but perhaps bigger shows than Norwich currently hosts. It's looks good having clearly been refurbished in the recent past and provides a great backdrop to tonight's rock show.
Blitz Kids have brought two great young bands along for the ride on this tour, the first of which take to the stage now in the form of Fort Hope. You may recognise the members of Fort Hope and wonder where you know them from. Well, let me enlighten you. Love them or hate them, most rock fans would probably remember the band My Passion. Fort Hope were formed from the ashes of My Passion and consist of four of the final five members.
Fort Hope certainly bring with them experience of the industry and a knowledge of how things need to be done but whether or not this project can be as successful as their previous band only time will tell. The band's debut album 'Courage' comes out in a week or so, but from what I hear tonight it's definitely another poppy sing-a-long rock record which teenage girls will lap up. It's a well rehearsed performance tonight which has the fans in the know singing back every word to the likes of 'Control'. My Passion may never have been my thing but tonight Fort Hope are thoroughly enjoyable.
Next up to the spacious and well lit stage here at Epic Studios are I Divide who enjoy a growing reputation. Another band that the teenage girls in attendance appear to love, I Divide have a more immediate presence to them than our opening act. Putting in an edgier and more driven performance they are a band who bring a great passion and energy with them to the stage. It's an appetite wetting set that leaves the fans wanting more and as a young band that's all you can really hope for.
It's now time for our headliners to make their way to the stage. Since undergoing some tweaks to their line-up in 2012, Blitz Kids have been a band on a mission. Relentless touring along with a very successful EP and now an impressive album have kept the band's name out there. Blitz Kids have been on the road for some months now supporting the likes of Mallory Knox and All Time Low, but now it's time for them to step out on their own.
It may not be the biggest crowd of the tour tonight in Norwich, but those that are here are probably some of the most passionate. They give the band a huge welcome as they stroll out on stage and start things off with 'All I Want Is Everything'. Blitz Kids specialise in songs that you can sing along with and the audience duly oblige tonight.
Blitz Kids found themselves at somewhat of a crossroads when they underwent their line-up changes but they haven't looked back since. Taking their time to record 'The Good Youth' out in Los Angeles with Goldfinger front man John Feldmann, the band returned with a record packed with single quality songs. One of those tracks picked as a single was the fantastically catchy 'Run For Cover' which is next out of the blocks tonight.
The band now see 'The Good Youth' as a fresh start viewing it as their second debut album, their second chance if you will. As you would therefore expect 'The Good Youth' is the backbone of tonight's set list. 'Perfect', 'Roll The Dice' and 'Keep Swinging' all follow on from each other and show little ease to the pace of the bands performance.
It's important for young bands to hone their craft out on the road and tonight Blitz Kids are reaping the rewards with a finally tuned set. Singer Joe James interacts well with the crowd as he introduces 'Sold My Soul' as about as heavy as we get. Myself being somewhat biased towards the heavier music I'd therefore vote 'Sold My Soul' as track of the night. But it would be hard to choose because as I've mentioned at least half, if not more, of the songs on 'The Good Youth' are good enough to be singles.
Two more tracks from the album follow in 'Long Road' and 'Title Fight' before we're treated to b-side 'Disaster Chapters' and 'Warrior' from the 'Never Die' EP. It's been a top night already with two decent supports and Blitz Kids on fine form but before we go home there's still time for three more tracks, all of which have been released as singles. 'Sometimes', 'Never Die' and 'On My Own' deliver a fantastic ending to Blitz Kids performance and cement them as ones to keep an eye on.
For me tonight has been a night of potential; three bands with potential to make an impact on the rock scene and a great venue with the potential to be a much valued location for the Norwich music scene. As for Blitz Kids, I'm sure you'll see their name on a festival bill near you soon, my advice? Go check them out.