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Against The Current - Manchester Academy 2 02.10.2016

As the evening draws in and the cold autumn air arrives, I welcome the warmth of Manchester’s Academy 2 and its slowly filling room of excited music lovers. It isn’t long after doors when tonights first band arrive on stage, who ironically are called Beach Weather. Despite outside being anything but toasty, it doesn’t take long for myself and the crowd to warm up and get lost in the incredibly infectious music on display. Just as their namesake would suggest, they play happy sunny music full of bounce and rhythm. Even though I, and it would appear many others, have previously not had the pleasure of hearing these guys before, those who have more than make up for it. The sound of the audience singing along creates a welcoming atmosphere. Their set is crisp and efficient at half an hour. They don’t over extend their welcome and ensure they have made their mark on tonights audience. As It Is are up next and what follows is roughly 40 mins of pure energy. While there were a few in attendance who had heard of Beach Weather previously, there is no doubt you’d be hard pressed to find someone in this room tonight who isn’t a fan of the band. The room erupts in song as every word is sung back louder and with a passion that I haven’t witnessed in quite a while. Pop Punk’s continuing resurgence is nothing short of impressive. The energy pours around the room as the band play an incredibly tight set. With songs new and old combined, Lead Singer Patty Walters bounces and leaps in unison with the audience as the room becomes a sea of hands. With smiles galore and a refined set that most bands can only dream of, As It Is are ensuring their continued rise is justified and they are worthy of your continued attention. But the most impressive thing about tonight is what happens next. Against The Current had to postpone their show the night before in Birmingham after Lead Singer Chrissy became ill during their set at Shepards Bush in London. Some are citing exhaustion, others just the flu but either way the fact that tonights show is going ahead regardless is something to take note of. It isn’t until 2 songs in and Chrissy finally addresses the audience you realise just how ill she must be. Doctors orders to minimise talking is made apparent as her voice sounds broken and fragile. So the fact that she is hitting every note and controlling the stage like a woman possessed leaves me in awe. The showmanship on display here is next level stuff. Their rise has been quick and the critical reception mixed. Some say they fall more into the pop category than the rock. They’ve been called posers, copycats and unoriginal. They’ve also been called pioneers, they’ve been placed in the next generation of great bands and ones to watch. All of this doesn’t matter, if you love them you will love them. If you hate them, you will hate. Everything aside, tonight shows me one thing and one thing only and that is they care. They care about the fans and they care about the show. As a collective they don’t skip a beat and bring it in every way. I was kind of a fan before, I am definitely one now.

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