Yuck When you get to a venue and they’re serving mulled wine by the entrance, it can only be a good thing. Cue a packed venue on the second day of This Is Tmrw’s All Years Leaving festival.
Victories At Sea Victories At Sea’s euphoric sound has already earned them universal respect and admiration. Launching the second day of the event into action with their last show of the year, the band’s larger-than-life sound – built from stadium-sized percussion, driving synths, distorted guitars, and echoing vocals – had no trouble drawing a crowd in the earlier hours.
Best Friends Sheffield’s Best Friends might’ve had a tough act to follow, but their unique brand of rough-and-ready surf pop had no difficulties winning over their crowd. After breaking the equipment before they even began, that is. The group’s scuzzy guitars and deliciously raw vocals carry their own appeal. Coupled with their energetic stage presence, whilst half their members hid behind manic manes of untamed hair, they certainly seem to be a group with a lot of skill in what they do.
Wide Eyed From one hair-hidden band to another, Wide Eyed wasted no time in taking their place under the stage lights. Already a household name, they’ve become synonymous with a quality and volume that remains unrivalled in Birmingham. As they played, their set became a seemingly ceaseless entity – tracks rolling and transitioning into each other effortlessly. Performing with a spellbinding energy, the shoe-gazing, hair-shaking four-piece drew their audience into a world of soaring lyrics and screeching refrains, before exiting the stage to a cacophonous climax of chords.
His Clancyness His Clancyness make music that’s decidedly more laid-back. Their lo-fi songs see synths meld with tightly honed percussion, vocal trickery, and grunge-infused influences to create lively, up-tempo tracks you can’t stop yourself from moving to. Layers of dreamy guitars prove all too easy to drift away with, as the band surround you with their sound, which then seemed to end all too soon.
Sky Larkin Bringing an ounce of energy back into the mix, Sky Larkin’s distinctive indie pop washed through the room in heartbeat: gone were the dreamy dazes, replaced instead by an air of enthusiasm and a newfound vigour. Frontwoman Katie Harkin’s easily recognisable vocals and poetic stylings sounded strongly over upbeat melodies and dance-along rhythms, giving their set a perfectly pleasing air.
Distophia Reforming especially for the festival, Distophia were certainly one of the most hyped bands on the bill. Celebrating a decade since their debut album, the band were welcomed to the stage as heroes. Tracks such as ‘Joanne’ and ‘Children Know The Score’ proved as popular with their crowd as they ever were, whilst their between-song banter a kind of self-deprecating humour showing that they really were just back to play music and have fun. Which is exactly what they did. Was their set really just a one-off? We can only wait and see. But for those who were present, it was one hell of a tribute and a send-off.
Yuck There was only one way that set could be topped, and that was in the form of Yuck. The reinvigorated four-piece may have recently lost their frontman, Daniel Blumberg, but they certainly haven’t lost any of their dexterity. Max Bloom has taken over leadership duties, but obscured himself in the corner of the stage. Opening with new track ‘Middle Sea,’ the band launched into a set that showcased their new direction and paid homage to their old favourites. Tracks such as ‘The Wall’ and ‘Get Away’ prompted the biggest crowd reactions, whilst newer hits like ‘Rebirth’ had the audience swaying to the shoegaze sound. After exiting the stage to handshakes, high-fives, and hugs, they were beckoned back to encore. If ever a night were to end on a high, this would be it. A lot of effort goes into launching a festival. For This Is Tmrw, all that hard work paid off. Two days of stellar bands, scrumptious food, and splendid drinks, that left no one without a smile on their face. I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely be making time for this again next year. Photographs by Paul Reynolds