Last Thursday, I had the privilege of seeing Wrapped in Plastic performing at The Flapper in Birmingham.
For those of you that don’t know, The Flapper is a legendary pub that has been open for nearly 49 years. Located on Kingston Row, pretty much right next to the Birmingham Arena, it’s an ideal social meeting point. It also has a small downstairs room, and is an excellent venue for bands. This night in particular was a celebration. Although I’m not sure if ‘celebration’ is the right word, and it was not all entirely good… but more on that later. First, let’s talk about the bands!
The first support of the night were Liars at the Witch Trial. Having not heard of them before, and with them only forming more recently, I was interested to see and hear how they were. Formed by the duo of Katie Walton (lead vocals, guitar) and Adam Wakefield (drums), their music was pretty impressive! It was all very technical, and the style felt like a darker blend of White Stripes meets Queens of the Stone Age. Their musical delivery was pretty top-notch, which was made even more impressive by the fact that this was only their second ever time performing live in this duo. I highly recommend checking these guys out whenever you get the chance!
Next up were Def Neon. If you know me, you’ll already know that I have a lot of love for this band, and tonight was no exception. They delivered an absolutely storming set, and got the entire room moving in a frenzy! We were treated to yet another brand new track at the very start of their performance, from their upcoming album (which I need in my life right now.) In fact, the majority of the songs they played were from the upcoming record. It’s very telling how amazing a band is when people are still going crazy to songs they don’t even know that well. Of course “Rotoscope” and “Nightvision” both made very welcome appearances, and both have evolved into absolute monsters live! I have a feeling their slot at Infest later this year will be something very special, indeed.
And last but not least, the headliners for the night, Wrapped in Plastic. What can be said, other than it was an epic performance filled with debauchery. Frontman Mr. Hate gave it his all, and pulled no punches on the theatrics. At one point he crawled out into the crowd mid-song, later on a manikin was smashed to pieces, and he released the hate throughout the show. It was a rage fuelled set, all whilst guitarist Squeaky unleashed massive riffs and solos. The atmosphere was rich with darkness, and I was hooked on every moment. As I’ve said previously, their shows are always a spectacle to watch, and you’re always guaranteed a good (and pretty interesting) time when these guys perform! And with that, the ritual was over, and the band’s last ever show at The Flapper was over.
In case you didn’t know, The Flapper is closing, and this is what the night was all about; a celebration of the venue. At one point during WIP’s set, cups were handed out, and we were poured a red liquid which we drank in a toast to it. I’m not sure what I drank, but it definitely tasted of cherry (and I’m pretty sure my soul is eternally dammed somehow.)
It’s such a shame that we’re losing The Flapper. This night served as a testament to it’s importance and how beloved it is within the local community. It goes to show how small venues like this are a vital pillar of music scenes as a whole. It’s disgusting, and quite frankly criminal, that a place with so much history and heritage is being torn down, so that flats which no one can afford can be built upon it’s ruins. All because some fuckers want money. Alas, the wheels have been set in motion, and after June 30th, The Flapper will be no more. I may have not visited it as often as I should have, but my 14 years of occasional visits were amazing, and it was an honour to be present at one of the final gigs, especially considering it was a fantastic night. It was truly the perfect send-off. Farewell The Flapper, your legacy will always live on.