Gig Review

Framing Hanley
Just Surrender, Brooke
Birmingham, Academy

16th September 2010
Framing Hanley     Just Surrender                 

Photo Of Brooke © Copyright Justin AndreeWith the welsh pop punk perfectionists getting on the bill for all the big bands as of late, with the performance Brooke gave tonight you can understand why.

Opening with “Drama Queen”, followed by a couple more high tempo, ridiculously catchy songs, they had the first few rows jumping up and down and their hardcore fans singing along. They were soon followed by the crowd as they picked up on some of the cracking harmonies between bassist Jak and singer Alex. They continued to win over the crowd with some great banter between songs, hand clap filled breakdowns, a fantastic cover of Jason Derulo’s “In My Head” and more energy than a set of energiser rabbits. Finishing with the fan favourite “She’s in Love”, the band left the stage having successfully won over a packed out o2 Academy 2 and will surely be seen supporting even bigger bands and headlining their own packed out shows in the not too distant future.

If the opener of Brooke wasn’t enough, the crowd was in for a real treat when NYC band Just Surrender took to the stage.

Photo Of Jus Surrender © Copyright Justin AndreeOpening with “I can barely breathe” from their first album “If these streets could talk”, they provided the crowd with a furiously energetic set, packed with songs from all of their releases to date, with a few songs from their new album “Phoenix” making their way into the set. “Crazy” with it’s infectiously catchy chorus was an instant crowd pleaser, with other new tracks “Burning Up” and “Lose Control” also went down very well.

The band were fully appreciative of the fans and their crew, leaving space in some songs for the crowd to sing along, to which the majority of the room did, and guitarist/vocalist Dan even handed his guitar to their technician Michael for their last track. A perfect performance full of spirit to build up to the main event.

The deafening entrance as Nashville outfit Framing Hanley braced the stage was by no means unjust. Reactions for the support bands was already of a high standard, but this was on a whole other level.

Photo Of Framing Hanley © Copyright Justin AndreeWithin the first two songs the room was a haze of heat and an intense atmosphere of energy. Front man Ken Nixon had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the first line of their first song, carrying a powerful presence across the stage, even in some of their slower tracks. Bassist Luke may have at times been somewhat static in comparison to guitarists Ryan and Brandon but he made up for that for the sheer effort he puts into his harmonies with Nixon and his gut busting screams.

Their interaction with the crowd between songs gave everyone a bit of a breather between their heavy hitting ballads, with stories about their songs conceptions and funny anecdotes that kept the crowd entertained.

With a mix of tracks from their first album “The Moment” and new album “A Promise to Burn” the combination of the old darker tracks and new more commercial ones sat very well with the crowd, with new single “Back To Go Again” sounding just as much appreciation as “23 days” and “Slow Dance”. At times Nixon and Luke even had their work done for them, with the crowd managing to sing over them both in the chorus for “Hear Me Now”, deciding at which point to get the crowd involved in the bridge to fulfill the 3 part vocals you can hear on the album.

As they began to leave the stage, immediate cries for an encore filled the room, to which the band was only happy to oblige, wrapping up with arguably the song which catapulted them into the spotlight, their fantastic cover of “Lollipop”, and the massive track “Built for Sin” off the first album.

Framing Hanley gave a solid performance that shook off any doubt that they are a ‘one trick pony’ band who happened to put out a cover to make Lil Wayne proud, but a band on the rise with a vast array of crowd pleasing tracks from two very strong albums.

Framing Hanley – 4/5
Just Surrender - 4/5
Brooke - 4/5

Review By Justin Andree

 Framing Hanley

Kenneth Nixon
Ryan Belcher
Brandon Wootten
Luke McDuffee
Chris Vest

 Just Surrender

Jason Maffucci
Dan Simons
Steve Miller
Jolly Ubriaco
Kyle Shellhammer

 Band Related Links
Framing Hanley Myspace
Just Surrender Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?