Barfly, Birmingham - 4th April 2008
Lets make this point from the off so I don’t mislead you the respected reader of Die Shellsuit, Die!
ezine, I attended this gig solely because The Higher were playing. To categorise this review as ‘The Higher’ would be right in the sense I was specifically to review them, but alas the headliners were York’s Elliot Minor and so it is them that gets this linked to their profile. Sorry folks, it has to be this way.
The line-up tonight consisted of Furthest Drive Home (UK), The Higher (USA) and Elliot Minor (UK) in that order from start to finish. If anyone has ever been to the Barfly in Birmingham they will know it isn’t as large as the Academy, but it’s pretty roomy (Subsequent research puts it at about 400-500) and I’ve never seen it very full in all the gigs I have ever been to there. However tonight was a huge exception. Strangely, and I still don’t know why, the show was completely sold out and the crowd was especially thronging! It was populated mostly by young screaming girls that seemed to think they were at a Busted/McFly concert (More on this later). Very strange.
Furthest Drive Home clearly appreciated playing to a much larger and greatly more attentive audience than they did in February with The Maple State/Tellison and The Attika State in the back room of the Barfly (A much smaller venue, normally used as the backstage area for the bands playing in the main Barfly). They play a sort of ultra poppy pop-punk/emo sound that sees the front man busting for the high notes frequently and the crowd seemed to enjoy their set. It was mostly run-of-the-mill for me and you can hardly tell what the singer is saying as his words are so badly pronounced in a squeaky high-pitched voice.
Next up was The Higher who were hip-shakingly great. Instantly winning over the crowd the band rocked out songs from their album “On Fire” in a fun-packed set that also included a rendition of Flo Rida’s “Low”. They play pop with dance beats in the background, think a sort of less satirical Panic! At The Disco. Their lead singer Seth’s voice and charisma really carried the band and the whole set was great from start to finish.
Up next was Elliot Minor who in my opinion have had one good song thus far, that being their debut single “Parallel Worlds” that I reviewed for this site and gave 7/10 to. The fandom sweeping the room when they came on stage was incredible, in a completely bewildering manner. The band made the audience clap, absolutely fine, but then they made them swoop their arms side to side, everyone did. What was strange about this is that it seemed the band was just seeing how much they could get this malleable audience to do. Have they become VERY popular very quickly? Seemingly they have. When one of the band was near the merch stand girls physically screamed by me and pointed. Are they Take That? Crikey. I was honestly bemused at all this behaviour as it felt far more like a Busted or McFly gig than anything else you’d see at the Barfly.
The songs they played were unfamiliar to me bar the singles and all sounded exactly the same as the other ones they played. The band seemed to all be miserable as well, which considering they were on the first date of a UK tour to a sold out venue that you have in the palm of your hands is incredibly frustrating to watch. I left early as I was fed up of watching such mediocrity get so revelled upon.
The score I’m giving is a reflection of the entire night. The Higher on their own would get 8/10 I would like to point that out.
Listen: www.myspace.com/elliotminor, www.myspace.com/thehigher, www.myspace.com/furthestdrivehome