The Jam House, Birmingham on Thursday 17 July 2014

photos of this show

Toploader - the alternative rock band from Eastbourne who formed in 1997, with over two million album sales to their name and a string of top 20 hits are in Birmingham tonight.

The venue for the gig is at the Jam House in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, which in its self has seen some top quality names over the past few years including Snow Patrol, Beverley Knight, Westlife, Magic Numbers and Jamie Cullum so Toploader should feel right at home.

Toploader's debut album 'Onka's Big Moka' was an instant success, securing a top five spot in the British album charts for six months.The band rose to global fame in 2000 with their cover of king Harvest's,'Dancing In The Moonlight', which maintained a top 40 position in the official UK charts for 50 weeks.

Last year's re-release of 'Dancing In The Moonlight' spent three weeks in the top 40 thirteen years on, and with a series of new singles releases planned, the original Toploader band are back on the road again. 

Toploader's last single release was in October last year 'This is the Night', which gained airplay on Radio Two.


Tonight's gig has caught them half way through a tour of gigs and festivals, I have been lucky enough to see the band live, especially as my wife is a fan, we saw them a few years back in the tiny room at the HMV Institute, I remember it being loud and intimate and trying to take photos in the crowd was a nightmare. BUT in essence they were amazing live and didn't disappoint, so tonight should be just as special.

The 300 strong crowd, (don't forget that the Jam House is a smallish venue), were well up for the gig, the band came on at 10.30, which is the norm there as it's usually a student crazed night on a Thursday (LOL), played a 60 minute set covering all their back catalogue of hits.

An eleven song set ensued, Christ it was loud, after three minutes of taking photos my T-shirt was absolutely sodden with sweat, even Jo commented at how hot it was and how sweaty.

The stage seemed rather small for the band and their gear it swamped them, but it was amazing as the band were within touching distance, it was very personal, bit like having them in your living room, Christ that would annoy the neighbour's J.

The band came on stage quite late around 10.30ish, this didn't deter the audience one little bit, they were well up for it., the first chords of 'Elvis' bounced from wall to wall in the Jam House, it was so loud, but I loved it, good to see that a band can rock like that without any hesitation.

'Higher State', 'A Balance to all Things' and the infamous 'Achilles Heel', were next up. The band loved every minute on stage even if it was like a sauna!


The set was littered with old and new,'Only for a While' and stonker 'Let the People Know'.

Obviously the Toploader gems were left until last, 'Dancing in the Moonlight' and 'Time of My Life', the band were as good, if not better than when we saw them last.

This gig just proved that there is life in the old dog yet and their current roster of gigs and festivals proves this, even being asked to support Simple Minds on one of their forthcoming gigs.

An enjoyable and cheap evening, even if it was sweaty!! The band and The Jam House were immense and memorable to say the least.

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article by: Michelle Owen-Williams

photos by: Michelle Owen-Williams

published: 21/07/2014 15:34

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