The Blackout – The Muni, Pontypridd 29/03/14

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Putting on a gig to keep a venue from being shut down has never been so successful and everyone jumped on board to make this night a great night. The YPN and Orchard really did do a great job, starting with an excellent line up full of local bands all having their dreams come true and supporting the main headliner The Blackout from up the road in Merthyr. The YPN (Young Promoters Network) really did run the show from lights, to band liaison, sound and capturing the show. I take my hat off to all who contributed to making this night such a success.

Opening the show were Clear The Auditorium, a new upcoming “electronicore” band from Pontypridd and they started playing to a good-sized crowd that built throughout the night. With techno sounds erupting through the venue, the boys were in their element. You could see how happy they were to be opening the show for The Blackout. There were a few Clear The Auditorium fans there to support them and with the similarities to Enter Shikari, I think they definitely gained some new fans.

Next up on the stage were big town success story Falling With Style. After winning the Red Bull Download stage competition last year, Falling With Style have really made a name for themselves in the South Wales area. Everyone really loved them and they had a lot of support from the crowd. This band really got the energy up and fans of the band enjoyed their set list, with the majority of the audience singing along. The young band had great stage presence and was very popular with the crowd.

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There was a mixture of sounds and genres throughout the supports. The second half of supports saw a change in sound. Things went from rock to indie and folk and Peasant’s King got everyone’s spirits up with the tambourine jams and indie sounds. The whole band had a great presence on stage with none of them fading in the background – all their instruments contributed to the songs and their frontman did a great job of interacting with the audience.

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Last but not least on the support list were the very successful and popular The People The Poet. They have a very atmospheric folk alternative rock sound and had fantastic live vocals with beautiful live harmonies – this was a great warm up gig for their current tour with Deaf Havana. They had the crowd singing along, which included members of The Blackout and Kids In Glass Houses. I’d never seen this band until that night and I would gladly see them live again due to the great stage presence and chemistry between the singers. The songs have a lot of meaning and feeling to them all of which are written upon stories from fans that have been sent to them, which their frontman openly said on the night.

Then the time came for Methyr’s finest, The Blackout, to finally hit the stage and hit it they did. With the smash hit tune Start The Party kicking in everyone went wild and this really did start the party right. The Blackout stormed onto the stage like a whirlwind running and jumping all over the place, and they never lost the energy throughout the hour-long set, which included old and new songs – which was suitable for all Blackout fans and there were many comments about the set list (all positive) due to some very classic Blackout songs being played.

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The crowds were incredible and there were people jumping about, circle pits and people sitting on shoulders trying to get their way to the front, however this wasn’t needed due to frontman Sean Smith going wild with enthusiasm and adrenaline, and decided second song in that he didn’t want to sing on stage. He climbed over the barriers into the crowd and literally ran riot all over the venue including the corridors to the toilets. He stayed in the crowd singing and having fun with all the fans for two songs. Everyone loved this and he really did show that he was there to give them what they wanted and what they deserved after being from the scene for a bit.

Gavin’s vocals were superb and it was a pleasure to see him so well and doing what he loves to do. Sean even changed his stage attire by supporting the YPN and the Muni by wearing one of the promoters t-shirts designed for upcoming shows. Little things like that make a difference and show that the band gave their full support. The Blackout had the best stage presence I’ve ever seen in the Muni and with so much crowd interaction, the fans were left very happy.

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When the night ended with their very old hit I’m A Riot, the night really did end on a high. The Blackout were great with their fans and did a great job at supporting such a good cause. I hope this was enough to save the Muni in Pontypridd.

10/10

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