London quartet Clock Opera brought their innovative indie pop to a cold and wet Birmingham on Wednesday night. It was the first headline gig by the band whose brilliant debut album Ways To Forget is out next week. Although punters were thin on the ground for local trad-rockers Soldier, the audience grew in size and appreciation for the main act.
The band worked their way through the album, with the pulsing bass and intricate synths of ‘11th Hour’ getting people dancing, which continued through the jangly ‘Man Made’. ‘White Noise’ stood out for its vocal harmonies and the beautiful melody of ‘The Lost Buoys’ was captivating.
Frontman Guy Connelly introduced the big tune of the night, ‘Once And For All’, by mentioning the video, which features “lots of people crying”. Certainly, Clock Opera’s music is imbued with a sense of sadness. The band creates a perfect bittersweet combination: upbeat, rousing melodies filled with lyrics that acknowledge the realities of loss, disappointment and failure.
In his introduction to ‘Let Go The Lifeboats’, Connelly suggested that the track is something of a “different direction” for the band. The audience listened attentively to its fragile vocal melody and pared-down guitar accompaniment.
Buoyed by the fulsome cheers and applause, Connelly entered into a pact with the crowd that when the band return to the city a codeword only known by those in attendance tonight would be mentioned. Those present memorised a word suggested by a young fan, and the sense of being in on something from the start was created.
The set closed in triumphant fashion with ‘Fail Better’, whose lyrics quote Beckett to an uplifting melody that reaches anthemic proportions. When the album is out and the band attract bigger audiences those present on a wet Wednesday will remember the codeword and smile: we knew from the start that Clock Opera were something special.
This show was brought to you by Birmingham Promoters.Photos by Amanda Penlington
About Amanda Penlington
I’m passionate about music, especially live music. Favourite bands include Smith Westerns, The Vaccines, Yuck, The Drums, Young Buffalo, Everything Everything, Wild Beasts, Local Natives, Surfer Blood, Girls, and White Rabbits.