Following the time we spent backstage with them (watch out for the photos coming soon!) Smile And Burn’s (8/10) set was energetic and fun to say the least. They managed to successfully engage a crowd who from the looks of it hadn’t heard of them but wouldn’t be opposed to listening to them further. Their quick but successful set left you wanting more from the Berlin 5-piece-band. The guys are brilliant full stop, but are also brilliant at what they do. Coming from someone who until the show hadn’t heard more than 30-second snippets of their songs, they are instrumentally top notch and their self-described punk-rock tunes are certainly something you should seriously consider listening to.
Next up, were ROAM (6/10), a band I’d heard a lot about but had never got round to listening to. This show was the first time as a photographer, I was constantly having to dodge both security guards and crowd surfers, and this show had the largest amount of crowd surfers at a gig I’d ever seen. It was great to see the security guards being decent human beings and just leading the crowd surfers back into the pit and not kicking people out or being unnecessarily violent. The crowd was full of ROAM fans which was evident due to the sheer amount of people screaming the lyrics back and just generally losing it. However, whilst the band was enjoyable it wasn’t a particularly engaging set.
Moose Blood (8/10) were the final support for Man Overboard, and they are a band I’m increasingly hearing more and more about so it was great to finally see them live. I went into watching their set not knowing a lot of the songs and came out regretting that as I liked their songs and wish I’d listened to them prior to the show. The intimate setting of 02 Academy Islington was a perfect match for the Canterbury band and if I’ve piqued your interest about Moose Blood, check them out as soon as possible as I’m sure you won’t be seeing them in venues as small as they’re playing currently in a few months.
Man Overboard (8/10), the Emo Pop-punk band hailing from New Jersey are almost as well known for their motto ‘Defend Pop Punk’ as their music. The entire academy was filled with fans either wearing some variety of band merchandise or Man Overboard t-shirts. The band entered the stage ready to entertain their ecstatic fans, and entertain them they did. Playing a mixture of tracks from their back catalogue including personal favorite Love Your Friends, Die Laughing, their show was a fun-filled emo fest. Despite playing the relatively modest 02 Academy Islington, Man Overboard still managed to completely own the stage. If you’re a fan of Saves The Day or Taking Back Sunday, give Man Overboard a listen.