After opening up with an instrumental song where guitarist Ed Taylor intricately twiddled with guitar pedals to creating an awesome wave of distortion over an infectious bass line done by Luke Morgan; Heavy Waves are one of the newest up and coming band to come from Birmingham. Having already garnered support slots for Peace and now Best Friends, it’s easy to say that Heavy Waves are already living the dream. Their genre confronting blend of distorted grunge guitars mixed with fast tempo drums from Matt Tucker akin to drum and bass really show that this band is breaking the mould of a lot of current acts out there. Bassist and lead vocalist Luke Morgan crafts lyrics that are straight to the point, with ‘Lets Go Out’ being a hopeful in my mind to hear at clubs.
Featuring one of the strangest line ups that I’ve personally seen from a band; a drum kit and a bass guitar with a plethora of effects pedals (all moved out onto the floor space of the Sunflower Lounge where the crowd would usually stand) Furrow present an energy that really makes up for their lack of members. Really providing that intimate sense that you’d see from the likes of bands like Gallows. With one song in particular, the lead singer ditches the drums, leaving the bassist to hold the foundations of the rest of the song, whilst he shouted at the top of his lungs on top of the nearest bar stool, later using a microphone to bang on the snare drum at the biggest climax of the song. Furrow really are the perfect blend between the punk aesthetic of Gallows mixed in with the sound of a band like Sonic Youth.
Keeping the intimacy of the night by keeping their kit in the audience, Horrorshow has a similar set up to Furrow, but switches out the bass guitar with an electric guitar. Horrorshow feel like a combination of the colloquialism of Arctic Monkeys mixed in with Black Flag. On the verge of their success from their last Birmingham show performing at Off the Cuff festival, Horrorshow garner a really engaged audience who even shout out requests to the band to which frontman Miles Cocker fulfils towards the end.
Moving things back up onto the stage, Best Friends have made their name well acquainted with the underground surf rock scene. Hailing from Sheffield ,the four piece blasted through an explosive set of crunchy 90s Pavement-esque guitars mixed with distorted vocals and a punchy bass guitar that is reminiscent of The Pixies. A lot of the bands songs reflect on youth and nostalgia and just having a great time in general and that really reflects well in their uplifting music, ‘Throwing Up’ and ‘Surf Bitch’ being personal highlights of the night, both with infectious chorus’ that are simple to pick up and sing-a-long to, which could easily make the band huge. The band introducing each song before playing it really added intimacy to the gig itself.
Photography by Jonathan Morgan
About George Gadd
Will listen to just about anything but personal favourites are Brand New, Bright Eyes, Japandroids, Frightened Rabbit, Alkaline Trio, The Front Bottoms, Manchester Orchestra, Foals, The Replacements, Queens of the Stone Age, Miles Davis, The Gaslight Anthem and Bruce Springsteen just to name a few.