“We ain’t no f*cking B-town band!” So began The Scribers’ set at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on Friday night. The gig, put on by city-based magazine Brum Notes and local label One Beat Records saw some of the place’s finest bands perform before an adoring audience, and whilst the team spirit might not have been in play from the start, it was with a feeling of connection that everyone piled out of the venue.
The task of opening the night was designated to The Scribers, and they did so in the way that only they could. Gloomy indie vibes infused with punkish vocals to kick-start proceedings, drawing in a crowd that was still milling around the back of the venue. It wasn’t until Youth Man, however, that the audience fully engaged with the acts on stage. The three-piece took no time to fill the room with their rip-roaring refrains, punchy drum beats, and screeching vocals. The band performed a set that practically exploded at the seams with a raucous energy, captivating the entire room, making it impossible for anyone to turn away. “Pretty Little Idiot” was a set highlight, showcasing the group at their most infectious and their most riotous.
Wide Eyed played their first gig at the very same venue last August, and their set served to exhibit how far they’ve come. From their more recent tracks, such as “Feel Free” and latest demo “Still,” through to set-closer and debut recording “Bleak,” the band performed from behind their impressive barnets to a crowd in front of which they could do no wrong. An all-encompassing wall of sound crafted from screeching guitars, soaring vocals, and steady drum beats emanated from the stage, unhindered by sound restrictions as the group presented their delectable melodies to the crowd.
Headlining the night were the newest band of the lot. Dumb rose from the ashes of indie-hopefuls The Carpels a couple of months ago, and have been causing a storm with their grunge-infused melodies ever since. Raw vocals and addictive refrains, combined with vigorous performances, wasted no time in engaging and entertaining the gathered crowd. Highlights included current single “Dive,” which swirled and echoed around the room before the band eventually drew their set to a close.
With such a varied and vibrant music scene, showcasing the best of what Birmingham currently has to offer in one night is quite a feat. Whether you class B-Town as its own scene or not, the amount of talent within and around the city limits has reached unignorable proportions. If things keep going as they are, it won’t take long for any of these bands to reach the next level.
Jess Goodman // @alotlikejessica