After the release of their long awaited debut album ‘Primrose Path’ just a couple of weeks ago, DREAM STATE have embarked on a UK tour to showcase their highly anticipated new material. Tonight they stop off at Birmingham’s Asylum with Swedish rockers NORMANDIE in support.
Unfortunately things get off to a rocky start for NORMANDIE, as after first song ‘Enough’ they are forced off stage as they have major sound issues, it turns out to be quite a lengthy wait until they finally arrive back on stage, with the sound problems unable to be resolved. To their credit though, they decide against cancelling and continue on anyway. “Bear with us, things might sound a little odd, this is probably going to be the most difficult gig we’ve ever played’ vocalist Philip Strand addresses the crowd.
Despite the obvious difficulties, NORMANDIE still put on a very enjoyable performance, packed full of energy. The crowd really take to them and I think they sympathise that this has been an incredibly difficult gig, by the time final song ‘Collide’ comes around they are cheered off stage, they deserve heaps of praise for continuing tonight because no one could of blamed them if they had wanted to cancel.
DREAM STATE's rise over the past few months really has been staggering, it was only in March of this year that they played The Flapper in Birmingham, which was sold out at a capacity of 180. Fast forward a few months and they are headlining the Asylums main room, which is more than three times the size at 600 people, and they’ve gone and sold that out as well. Add to that the fact that they picked up Kerrang's Best British Breakthrough award and it really is easy to see why there is such a buzz about this band right now.
They come storming on stage to Primrose Path's album opener ‘Made Up Smile’. Vocalist CJ Gilpin is her usual energetic self, bouncing about the stage hectically. We get a taste of their classic 'Recovery' EP with ‘Help Myself’ which takes things up a notch or two.
It is quite evident that DREAM STATE are having a few sound problems of their own, nowhere near to the extent that NORMANDIE had to put up with thankfully though. Fortunately it doesn’t take away from the performance as DREAM STATE are on fine form tonight.
CJ regularly takes the time to talk to the crowd between songs, often to project as much positive energy she can onto her ‘Dreamers’. At one point she encourages everyone to find their own way to express themselves, “You don’t necessarily have to be a musician, you could be a boxer… just find your craft and what makes you the REAL YOU”.
'Twenty Letters' goes down a real treat, being another single from the new record. Shortly after that comes 'Out Of The Blue' - "This one will get your jaws moving" roars CJ, and she's not wrong as the whole room bounces along to guitarist Aled Evans' heavy opening riffs.
You’ll struggle to find someone who is as engrossed in their own music as CJ is, much of the topics of DREAM STATE's music directly relate to her past struggles, and you can see how much everything means to her as she vents out her emotions onstage.
The main set comes to a close with the song that blew DREAM STATE up, 'White Lies'. The following two song encore comes in the form of 'New Waves' and finally 'In This Hell', both will be very familiar for anyone who's seen DREAM STATE before, but they still hit hard live as if it's the first time you're seeing them being played.
A fantastic night of live music was had tonight, it had its problems with sound but the energy on display more than made up for it. There aren't many bands breaking out that can match DREAM STATE right now, the sky is the limit for the heights that this lot can reach. Academy sized venues next?
DREAM STATE - https://www.facebook.com/DreamStateUKOfficial/
NORMANDIE - https://www.facebook.com/normandieofficial/
Photos & Review - Sam Robinson Photography