Tonight the Birmingham Institute Library was brimming from wall to wall for a sold-out show with an extremely hyped up and youthful crowd. If the atmosphere wasn’t already energetic enough from the support acts of the night, Proxies and Sonic Boom Six, this shot up to ridiculous levels once headliners The Blackout took to the stage.
The band bounded on greeting the audience with all the enthusiasm of playful puppies, shot some giant party poppers into the crowd and kicked into the evening’s opener Start The Party, which was pretty appropriate as everyone watching bounced up and down and sang along like they were being given exactly that. What followed was a fantastic mishmash of new and old songs alike, as the band weaved their way through their back catalogue. This included a good splattering of tracks from their albums Start The Party, Hope and The Best In Town, and even two rather old tracks I’m A Riot? You’re A Fucking Riot! and It’s High Tide Baby, which were from their debut album The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout! The latter provided was a highlight, with most of the audience singing along as a net full of balloons were released from the ceiling..
One thing I noticed is that the band have a genuinely good humoured and fun relationship with their audience. Throughout the whole performance they constantly involved the crowd, whether it was getting everyone to thrust their bottom halves into the people in front and behind them during Said and Done (singer Sean Smith joked that if it looked gay, then to ‘look up and it’s not gay’….), or joking that Running Scared is about the time Gavin did heroin and was chased by a giant needle. Their stage presence and the fact they don’t take life too seriously makes it hard to dislike them.
The end of the set was rounded off nicely with Save Our Selves (The Warning), which saw verybody take part in singing and dancing, along with jumping up from the floor during the ‘going out’ climax. I think that the only criticism of the night was that once this track was over, the gig was over. The audience were cheering for more, but alas, no encore (then again, they had been causing chaos on stage for about an hour and were most likely shattered).
All in all, a fantastic evening both comically and musically. If you want to enjoy a concert full of carefree entertainment then The Blackout are well worth a watch live, just remember to enjoy it whilst you can because once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Photos © Carrie Humphries and must not be reproduced without prior consent