Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Neck Deep (Intercontinental Championships Tour) | Live Review

Roughly a week ago, Neck Deep commenced on another headline tour of the UK, this time bringing some very special guests. The tour had a wrestling theme because, to quote Ben Barlow, the guys thought it would be ‘funny’. Another nice addition was that each of the bands playing were from  different countries, showcasing a wide variety of disparity within the pop punk genre. Seaway hail from Canada, Trophy Eyes come from Australia and Knuckle Puck come from the US. On the 27th of January, Neck Deep brought the Intercontinental Championships Tour to Birmingham, and we were lucky enough to catch all the bands doing their thing...

Up first was Seaway, who arrive on to the stage with South Park’s ‘Blame Canada’. After a warm welcome, the guys launch straight into the first song from their new EP, ‘Your Best Friend’. The song builds up the  atmosphere in the audience with vocalist, Ryan Locke, asking the crowd to ‘jump around’ and it certainly works; the excitement is rife with extensive sing-alongs happening all around. Throughout their whole set Seaway do not endure the awkwardness of being the first act on stage and the crowd doesn't stop moving throughout.  Seaway play a variety of songs from their debut album ‘Hoser’, as well as songs from their new EP ‘All in My Head’. The co-vocals of Ryan Locke and Patrick Carleton work really well and the fun, upbeat, all most sweet pop punk is a perfect opener for the show.

Next Up is Trophy Eyes, who come on to a bit of ACDC . The band play various songs from their recent album ‘Mend, Move On’ and their EP ‘Everything Goes Away’. A lot of people have criticised John Floreani’s aggressive vocal style, stating that it wouldn’t work live. However, tonight Floreani can silence his critics as his vocals are at no point weak and they add a unique twist to the pop punk on tonight’s bill. The band also encourage the crowd to participate, with Floreani asking the crowd to ‘come up the front’. Overall, Trophy Eyes add a heavier blend to tonight’s mix, showcasing their abilities with vehement drums and belligerent guitar.

On next is Chicago’s Knuckle Puck who open with ‘Your Back Porch’. Joe Taylor keeps up the energy throughout the set, with the crowd singing along to every word. Knuckle Puck play a variety of songs from their first EPs ‘Don’t Come Home’ and ‘The Weight That You Buried’ and even both songs from their split with Neck Deep. However, the band’s live performance really shines when playing songs from their new EP ‘While I stay Secluded’ and they prove that the new tracks are something they should be proud of. 

Finally, Neck Deep arrive on the stage. As a band, Neck Deep have not had a long history. Forming in 2012 they’ve released two EPs and their debut album Wishful Thinking. Consequently, it is impressive and considerably inspiring to see them sell out the O2 academy, even if it is the smaller second room. Throughout the set, Neck Deep showcase their talents and remind everyone how they have become so successful, with their down to earth, all-encompassing pop punk.  Their live show is on point, with the band putting 110% effort into every verse and chorus they play. The show includes songs that they’ve never played live before, such as Zoltar Speaks and older songs such as Over and Over. Unfortunately, the band had no new songs to play live from their upcoming second album (Fil stated that they would sound shit at the moment anyway) but they make up for it with their stunning performance throughout the rest of the night.

Overall, the Intercontinental Championships Tour is a night that no pop punk fan will forget in a hurry. While it was awesome to see Neck Deep, the tour provided an opportunity for Seaway, Trophy Eyes and Knuckle Puck to showcase their talents and also have their first experience in the UK. We can wait to see them all again soon…

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