Nashville Metalcore outfit Memphis May Fire are back in the UK, playing a well overdue number of shows up and down the country. Tonight they stop off at Birmingham’s O2 Academy, as they look to keep up the momentum on the early stage of this extensive UK and Europe tour.
First up on the night is Callous Hands, a local Metal band that are opening up for Memphis May Fire for this date only. It's always nice to see when a large band will give local artists the chance to get the night under way for them, and Callous Hands definitely make the most of the chance they've been given as they put on a fantastic set. The songs fly by thick and fast, filled with riffs and some great harsh vocals from frontman Kieran Slater. Hope to see this bunch popping up at some more local shows soon!
Next up is Walkways, an Alternative Metal band hailing from Israel. Right off the bat I can't help but think how much they look like Papa Roach during their 2000's 'Infest' era, dressed all in black like the 'Between Angels & Insects' video, I know its not uncommon to wear all black these days, but they do have that Nu-Metal look about them to go with it. These guys are fun to photograph too, both vocalist Ran Yerushalmi and guitarist Avihai Levy are very animated, and clearly very engrossed in their live performance. The songs aren't half bad either, as a band they are very tight-nit and very technical, these guys no doubt will have gained a few extra fans here tonight, fantastic!
The only down side about tonight is how few people there are here. It’s almost 3 years to the day that Memphis May Fire last headlined here in Birmingham, which makes it all the more surprising that the show is massively undersold, unfortunately the venue isn’t even at a third of its capacity by the time they take to stage. Despite this, Memphis May Fire still put on a top performance for those who came out to see them, playing no differently as if they were performing to a packed out venue.
They pile through old favourites such as; 'Beneath The Skin', 'Prove Me Right' and 'Alive In The Lights' to name a few, but lets not forget that this is Memphis May Fire's first time in the UK since their latest release 'Broken', so we are also treated to first listens of 'The Old Me' and the utterly brilliant 'Heavy Is The Weight'. The new material is received very well by the crowd, which is no surprise, they have had to wait a while to hear it in fairness!
After 'Heavy Is The Weight' finishes, a very humble Matty Mullins addresses the crowd “I don’t know if we have any aspiring musicians here tonight but I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it is to travel thousands of miles away from home and have people turn up to support you music.” I can’t commend these guys enough, deep down they must be disappointed with the attendance tonight but they don’t let that get in the way off putting on a great show.
The nights comes to an end with hugely popular song 'The Sinner' capping off a night of mixed emotions. On one hand the show has been fantastic but on the other not enough were here to witness it. I hope this doesn't put off Memphis May Fire from coming back, those who came out tonight were treated to a great night of live music.
Memphis May Fire - https://www.facebook.com/MemphisMayFire/
Walkways - https://www.facebook.com/Walkways/
Callous Hands - https://www.facebook.com/callous.hands1/
Review & Photos - Sam Robinson Photography