Kids In Glass Houses was to be my first gig in about 2 months, so understandably I was excited. To add to this, it was being held in Manchester Academy 2, the venue a tier down from Manchester Academy, and it is smaller and the stage is closer. This gig had all the ingredients to be fantastic. So as the line started moving at 7.30pm sharp, my blood started pumping and the adrenaline began to get ready to rush. Once in, the excitement faded slightly as I quickly realised I had to sit through two support acts, both of whom turned out to be fairly mediocre.
Spy Catcher are a self proclaimed ‘party band’ from Watford, England. Although I would probably describe them more as a punk band, opting for shouting quite loudly instead of singing, I can’t really see this band going anywhere other than supporting other rising bands and playing pretty small venues. Several problems popped up during the set, including singer Steve Sears Jr. losing his voice and his microphone falling off in the same song, as well as offending most of the crowd by screaming various obscenities that I will save from this article. Overall, it was a fairly mediocre band that just sound like they came from a Sex Pistols impersonation gig.
You can buy Spy Catcher’s single (the only available on iTunes), Nobody Listens, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/nobody-listens/id370553146#
Following what felt like forever, General Fiasco took to the stage. An indie rock band from Northern Ireland, their music was far more suited to the tastes of the eclectic crowd that had gathered to see Kids in Glass Houses. Although better than Spy Catcher, (it wasn’t hard to beat) their music all sounded the same, despite dropping in an acoustic number mid-way through. Still, it appeared that many more spectators knew of this band (who apparently have achieved a #87 UK single with Ever So Shy) with many singing along and the occasional outburst of a group of friends bouncing, as well as a small mosh pit breaking out. As we’ll soon see it seems Manchester will mosh to anything. Unfortunately General Fiasco seemed to be unable to count; after announcing they had 3 songs left, they played one before swiftly exiting the stage to a smatter of applause.
You can buy General Fiasco’s new album, Buildings, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/buildings/id359366130
From this review so far, you’d presume that Manchester is one of the toughest crowds in the world to please. But in actual fact, so far, this had been a fairly poor show. So far we’d seen two bands, one that seemed to be going nowhere and one that was going places but at the pace of Eric Moussambani. Coming up was a band that had gone places, was going places and will be in places in a few years. Kids in Glass Houses have come a long way, with help from friends in bands like Lostprophets and The Blackout have gone on to release Dirt, an album which has provided them with two UK top 40 singles. Just from this, you can see why I was so pumped to see them in a headline show. They had been great supporting Lostprophets in February but now the time had come to see them for what they were. When the lights dimmed at 9pm, the atmosphere was electric. Everyone was quiet but the feeling was there that the place was about to explode. The roof was going to come off of Manchester Academy 2 as soon as Kids in Glass Houses stepped onto the stage. The only lights on the stage were some fairy lights loosely draped over the amps but this was more than enough for the crowd to see Aled and Co. taking centre stage before launching into Artbreaker I, a fantastic choice of opening song with the fast paced drums and catching guitar riff whipping the crowd into a frenzy and opening up the gaping hole in the crowd, where avid fans threw themselves off each other in a euphoric blur. Quickly following up with The Best Is Yet To Come, we felt reassured that the best really was yet to come. Although they had made a blistering start I felt sure that this way to be a fantastic show. Next came Give Me What I Want, followed by the brilliant party song Lilli Rose then Good Boys Gone Rad. So far the concert was amazing. The crowd was really getting into it and so was the band, putting all their effort into making the show as good as possible. The pit was huge, almost as big as at Lamb of God, and I was having a hard time keeping in the slightly more sane part of the crowd until Youngblood (Let It Out) kicked in. Instantly, the crowd turned into a rioting bunch of lunatics bouncing around like some kind of possessed creatures. This didn’t let up when future single Undercover Lover rumbles on, although it feels a bit empty without the harmonising female vocals. Following this was a trio of lesser songs, For Better or Hearse, The Morning Afterlife and Hunt The Haunted. Despite being lesser known and appreciated they build the gig up for a good end. Of course, there is only one song that Kids in Glass Houses could finish their concert with right now. It was always going to be Matters At All and although it was predictable, it certainly doesn’t dampen the excitement of all 800 fans packed into this cardboard box like room. Several times during this song I am certain that I could feel the floor sagging under the weight of the hundreds of sweaty bodies bouncing relentlessly. After a brief step off stage, just to ensure that we were still dedicated to them, before returning and launching in Artbreaker II, signalling the start of a very short ‘second half’ so to speak. Followed by the less well known Saturday, we had a brief period of respite where bouncing and moshing was kept to a minimum, everyone was saving it for the big finale. The final curtain call. And as the rampant Kids in Glass Houses launched into the final song, Sunshine, the place erupted and the whole room was moving, losing their minds. As the band ploughed through the song, excitement didn’t let up. This one song summed up the evening. Only Kids in Glass Houses’ most devoted fans had turned up tonight, to support them and show them how far they have come. And as the band exited one by one, you could see the atmosphere settling. People were coming round from the dancing coma they had been subject to for the last hour or so and were loving it. Kids in Glass Houses have made the breakthrough, into the big time. Now they just have to build on it and they’re surely onto a winner.
You can buy Kids in Glass Houses’ latest album, Dirt, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dirt-special-edition/id361154793