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State Champs - O2 Institute, Birmingham 17.03.2017

We were promised a killer show – and boy, did the three bands deliver. When State Champs announced that their tour support would be As It Is and Northbound, me and my friends were quick to rally together to ensure we could all make it to this show.

Northbound kicked off the evening, and although the crowd’s minds seemed to be elsewhere, they still delivered a flawless set. Their stage presence was calm, but their music did all the talking. Reminding me of Speak Low If You Speak Love, singer Jonathan Fraser does an impeccable job of bridging the gap between acoustic and full band with rousing, emotion fuelled lyrics that you’ll find yourself singing the morning after. His track Lucky Sentimental now has pride of place in my work playlist, and I’m now a self-confessed fan.

Next up were As It Is, who dropped off my radar shortly after releasing their debut album Never Happy, Ever After in 2015, and I’m kicking myself for letting that happen. These guys really went above and beyond to deliver a knockout set, including tracks from their latest album okay. such as Pretty Little Distance and Hey Rachel, as well as fan favourites such as Dial Tones. Patty Walters and the other band members did a great job at firing up the crowd, even donning a party hat and throwing themselves into the crowd at times.

Finally, State Champs took to the stage – and tore the roof off The Institute in the process. No strangers to particularly energetic shows, the band threw themselves around the stage like something possessed, showing seemingly endless energy. At this point, I moved up to the balcony of the venue to protect my camera from the jumping crowd, and once I was up there I really had an opportunity to appreciate the band’s show. Every note was flawless; their engagement with the crowd was second to none. Classics such as Secrets rocked the venue from side to side, and we clapped and cheered until our throats were sore. A truly brilliant show.

Photos & Review - Sutcliffe Photography

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