Thursday, June 13, 2024

Jaws + Dumb + The Magic Gang + Juice, The Institute, Birmingham 19/04/14

Tonight was a celebration of Birmingham albeit with a little help from Brighton.

Kicking things off were new boys on the block, Juice. Despite undergoing a recent line-up change they hit the ground running and before you knew it familiar faces were already crowd surfing. With well crafted songs and stage presence to boot, the smart money is on Juice to be headlining gigs of this size before the year is out. Ending the set with crowd pleaser and single ‘Sugar’ those in attendance certainly won’t forget this band in a hurry.
Hailing from Brighton, The Magic Gang held their own against the local boys surrounding them on the bill. Slowing the pace down somewhat, The Magic Gang showcased their song writing prowess as things turned nostalgic and tinged with 90s slacker rock. This was the first time many had heard of the band and they impressed despite having a short set.

With Juice laying down the precedent for getting a crowd in a frenzy, Dumb were all but ready to start where they left off. Opening with ‘Retina’ the room took no time to respond with moshpits ensuing. With an EP of their singles in the pipeline tonight was a perfect reminder as to how far they have come since forming from the ashes of The Carpels.

We were treated to new songs too, such as ‘Still I’m Stuck’, which went down like old favourites with the lively crowd. Dumb commanded the stage and crowd leaving with the adoration of fans.

With anticipation building, chants of “we want Jaws” soon rang out across the sold out venue. Taking to the stage with an air of nonchalance the four local lads wasted no time in giving the crowd what they wanted. Old songs merged with new in an effortless set. Half way through, lead-singer Connor Schofield announced they had been working on their debut album, to the delight of those in the room. With crowd sizes growing fast, so are their performances and they now look at home on stage. Whether it was the guitar driven ‘Stay In’ or the synth-laden ‘Surround You’ all in attendance danced as though their life depended on it. Jaws soundtracked the summer for many last year and on this showing more memories will be made this time round.

Birmingham has thrown up some great bands over the past couple of years and tonight proves we still have bands pushing things forward. It was a joy to see Austin Williams of Swim Deep supporting his mates dancing around on stage to ‘Gold’, a passing of the baton if ever there was one.
Photographs by Zoe Shannon.