Black Kids + Magistrates @ Birmingham Academy – 22nd October 2008


Tonight was I pessimistic towards the events that would unravel before me. I’m not sure I like Black Kids and I find most support acts tedious. It’s the wrong attitude to take, I’m sure. But my recent experiences have held me to it. Tonight I wanted to enter the Academy open minded. I’m not really sure just how open minded I was, but by the end of the gig I would have a solid opinion of the band and become either a lover or a hater.

Standing in the crowd, well, the small clusters of people that had congregated around me, I waited forever for the support act to come on. Magistrates enter the stage to a small ripple of claps and a few hoots. In fact, probably more wolf whistles if anything. They pick up their instruments to me thinking ‘here we go again, another band that I’ve never heard of, and never want to again…’ I now freely admit that my vibes are not always correct. I like Magistrates now. Seeing them live has let me listen to the kind of band I usually wouldn’t, and maybe changed my mind a little about support acts in general. It’s a good way of finding new bands, I’ve never denied it, but usually I just don’t enjoy them. Tonight’s warm up however got the crowd dancing to their bouncy beats. Intro song ‘The Inbetweens’ was a great way to get everyone going. Also, it showed Magistrates’ fresh style. Their lead vocals were (for want of a better word) kind of shrieky and shrill- in a good way though. Finishing their exuberant set with personal favourite ‘Colour Co-Ordination’ meant the band left the stage with the crowd wanting more. Tonight Magistrates did the job of a support act. They got everyone dancing and ready for more. I would be intrigued to see them headline to see if they would be able to keep up the pace and have the crowd dance throughout.


There’s one thing I hate about gigs – the wait between acts. I know it’s necessary but it always seems to take too long. Even with the crowd fully warmed up, I felt they had dropped to lukewarm by the time Black Kids entered the stage. If the music played between the bands hadn’t been rife with classics, the waiting crowd would have been stone cold. Not like this mattered. The headliners took the stage with what one could only describe as a dazzling light display. The lights in the back of the stage were a slight distraction from the band, but they grabbed back the attention when they started playing latest single ‘Look at Me When I Rock Wichoo’. The crowd started to rave without a care in the world. Hypnotized by the 80’s pop fuelled tunes I felt almost as though immediately after I left the gig, I would have to go acquire a perm. And that by doing this my life would be filled with blissful beats like the ones that had invaded my eardrums for the night.


Pretty much the whole of the Black Kids set had the crowd buzzing. The band were not quite as ‘big’ as I thought they were though. The crowd was a strange one too. Filled with couples in their 30s or Primark-clad 15 year old girls, not exactly what I expected. I think tonight was the ‘nicest’ crowd that I have ever stood in. For once, I wasn’t covered in someone else’s sweat and didn’t have beer drying in my roots. The band seemed to like us though. They were almost grateful for our response. Well, they actually deserved it. The highlight of my night was ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You’ their debut single charting higher than the rest, and at one point you couldn’t go a day without hearing the song at least once, I guessed it would be special.


The band walked off stage thanking everyone. Something was missing though. The crowd suddenly became the liveliest it had all night, demanding more from the band. Sure enough, they come on again. With lead singer Reggie Youngblood stating that he was just learning the words for their next song. Yet the void in the set had not been filled with the new song. But soon enough ‘Hurricane Jane’ hit us all right between the eyes. The set had reached its pinnacle. And the crowd seemed more than satisfied. I think after tonight, it’s safe to say- I’m a lover.


Magistrates Set List:
The Inbetweens
Do What You Do
Make This Work
She Don’t Wanna
Tell Me
Colour Co-ordination

Black Kids Set List:
Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo)
Hit The Heartbrakes
Partie Traumatic
I’ve Underestimated My Charm (Again)
Listen To Your Body Tonight
I Wanna Be Your Limousine
Love Me Already
I’m Making Eyes At You
I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You
Hurricane Jane

Review – Shannan Carlton
Photos – Dave Musson

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