Gig Reviews

Circa Waves at Manchester Academy- Review

LIVERPOOL band, Circa Waves, responsible for one of the best indie hits of the summer, ‘T-shirt Weather,’ graced Manchester Academy October 14 with their indie-fueled anthems. I was lucky enough to bag myself a ticket to see one of the biggest breakthrough bands of 2015…

Walking into the Academy, the scents of beer and perfume lingered in the air of the densely populated teenage crowd – all dancing along to the young Mullingar based band, The Academic. For such a young band, they certainly did a fantastic job of warming up the crowd nicely. The audience were clapping and dancing along to their happy and upbeat catchy songs, and judging by the reception from the crowd, it’s clear this band have massive potential to become a breakthrough band in the coming years.

As the atmosphere in the Academy was building with excitement, the next support band, Sundara Karma graced the stage. Another exceptional choice of support band, the four-piece from Reading were welcomed open-armed by the audience. Another young band, their best-known single Flame gathered the best response from the crowd, brimming with momentum and encouraging the audience to sing along to the chorus at the top of their lungs. Both support bands for Circa Waves were chosen exceptionally well and drew in the attention of the audience throughout both sets – two bands that truly represented the enormous amounts of talent in new, young bands.

Sundra Karma
Sundara Karma- the Reading-based support act.

Not long after both support acts had finished, the young crowd began to get more boisterous, throwing beer and pushing whilst waiting for Circa Waves.

After a few well-known songs were drunkenly sung by the audience in-between the sets from Sundara Karma and Circa Waves, the lights then dimmed down and the crowd let out a roar. The Liverpudlian lads casually walked out onto the stage before erupting into their album-titled song, ‘Young Chasers’. It’s clear the band love performing live, with lead singer Kiaran Shuddal constantly performing with a beaming smile, and band members, Sam Rourke (bassist), Joe Falconer (lead guitarist) and Colin Jones (drummer) each punching out each hit with as much energy as the last.

The band’s constant energy spurs on the crowd to almost pogo along to their whole set, with each song performed being a fast paced cheerful indie anthem. ‘Fossils’ particularly stood out as being performed well live; as the crowd really engaged with the melodic pop gaze and summer feel despite the bitterness of October. Never the less, there were mosh-pits present at every possible occasion.

My Love’ also particularly stood out, when front man, Kieran, announced a particularly heartfelt message saying, ‘this song is dedicated to my mum, it’s her birthday soon’. The crowd all waved in the direction of Kieran’s mum, and it was heart-warming to see how pleased he was to see his mum at the Manchester show. The crowd definitely belted out the chorus most memorably during this track almost over the sound of the band.

Circa Waves at Manchester Academy
Circa Waves at Manchester Academy

The band also paused the show for a few moments to talk about the importance of a new campaign, ‘Girls Against.’ They continued to explain how the campaign was set up to stop sexual harassment of females at gigs, and stated ‘we’re all here to have fun at our shows, and if you aren’t here for that, you aren’t welcome at our shows’. The full campaign can be viewed on Twitter at @girlsagainst.

After ploughing through the popular tracks ‘Stuck In My Teeth’ and ‘Get Away’, Circa Waves ended on a high, with all the crowd feeling as though they had just done a two-hour workout at the gym. With the Academy in the dark, the chants for the return of Circa Waves slowly built up, before they returned to play their last two tracks, ending with T-shirt Weather’. The atmosphere for ‘T-shirt Weather’ was truly the best atmosphere of the night. The crowd were encouraged to get on each other’s shoulders, and this teamed with this indie anthem created the ultimate throwback to the summer festival experience. Looking around the faces in the crowd, there was not one member without a grin on their faces.

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