So, remember a few months ago when I ranted about how legendary Birmingham-based bar and live music venue The Flapper was closing down? Well, I have some good news… it’s not closing down after all! We won, sort of. The lease was renewed for another year, so who knows what will happen when that time is up? In the meantime, I remain cautiously optimistic.
Of course, a longer lease means more gigs, and I attended yet another last weekend. This time hosted by local heroes of the scene, Among The Echoes. The night featured a total of four great acts, from across the UK, and for the mere asking price of £7 for a ticket, it felt like a huge bargain!
First up were The Webb, who arrived to the occasion very much prepared. Getting into the festive spirit of the season, they decorated the stage and their equipment, adding quirkiness to their presence (and I mean “festive” as in Halloween, not Christmas, you savages!) Needless to say, this was pretty apt for their style. Whilst their music follows a traditional Darkwave style sound, it still came across as very bouncy and fun with the way it was presented. Tracks such as “Questions” and “Alice in Wonderland” from their latest release, Truth Delay, went down pretty well with the crowd. It helped develop a lively atmosphere that would set the tone of the night, and it’s great to see an act in the scene take themselves less seriously.
Next up were Nature of Wires, and even though they didn’t come armed with decorations and were less on the theatrics, they put on a brilliant show. Having a more Synthpop/Futurepop approach to their music, it got quite danceable very quickly, and the crowd were moving to the music in no time. The created a rich atmosphere, and the music sounded quite powerful in the small venue. It really had an oomph to it, with some very catchy beats and rhythms. The band have had a lot of year’s worth of experience under their belt, and this definitely showed on this ocassion.
It was then time for hosts of the night, Among The Echoes, to take to the stage. Since forming in 2012, they’ve gone from strength to strength, not only becoming a big name in the local scene, but getting noticed beyond, having supported acts such as The Cruxshadows, Hanzel Und Gretyl and The Birthday Massacre. It’s clear to see why, as their Electronic Rock style creates a dark, epic atmosphere that draws the audience in. They were on top form tonight here, their sound resonating throughout the room. Their cover of Gary Numan’s “Pure” has become a staple of their set at this point, and was a treat to listen to as always, but it fits in extremely well with their own music, as if it were one of their own tracks. There was a superb performance of my personal favourite of theirs, “Breathe”, too. It was top quality enough to be the headlining act for the night, but that was still yet to come.
To end this early Halloween treat, who else would be more ideal to be the final act of the night than Wrapped in Plastic? Their show was a storming set, with the presence and feel of a full-on performance. At one point, frontman Mr. Hate enticed the crowd to move closer to the stage with candy, which he threw to the floor, to pied piper us over. It was theatrical and as aggressive as ever, as they blasted through tracks such as “Messiah”, “I Hate” and “Kill the Kids.” Things only slowed down for the more moody “Voodoo Doll”, before ending the night with a bang on the mighty “Stomp!” The Birmingham based duo always give 110 percent at their shows, not letting up until the last note. It’s dark, gritty, twisted and I love it!
I’ll admit, this wasn’t my first time seeing all these acts, and, if you follow this blog, you’ll no doubt recognise some of the names from previous reviews or articles. The thing is, they’re such a fantastic bunch of bands, that it’s really hard to pass up the opportunity to see them, especially when they’re all under one roof. The styles on display, and the moods they created were the perfect mix to get everyone in the mood for Halloween, or as I’m starting to call it, Goth Advent. Plus, it once again proves how important local talent and smaller bands are for the music scene, as well as how venues such as The Flapper are a pillar of it. May there be many more events like it to come!