My first time in the Actress & Bishop to find there is a downstairs small stage and upstairs room. The pub itself looks great downstairs and as the weather is nice we have a crowd seated outside. The room upstairs is fairly dark, the stage setting is in a corner placement with limited lighting facing the performers but aside from that the stage has some height and is good experience for an intimate show.
Transworld Identity kick off the night as the support act, there are about a quarter of the room in attendance at this point. They commence with a fantasy intro as the band enter, lead singer Mila shows she is not afraid of the camera or the crowd as she engages and interacts. The opening track has a great beat to it with vocals blending well. There is an off the cuff setlist change as some girls in the crowd went to the show last night. For a band that appears to be super new basing this on my findings on their socials, they deliver a solid performance. T-I.D. currently have an EP out with their track Invisible which sounds much more crisp and clear.
Brother Firetribe are on their 15th anniversary tour combined with support for their latest studio album Unbound. A short intro sound of like walking through a tunnel in which you hear coughing and someone fighting and echoing and a voice over “Naiset ja herrat, Ladies and Gentlemen Brother Firetribe” as they enter then a short pause, last but not least, is Emmpu looking lost ,not sure where to go, but everyone laughs together.
Opening track Help is on the Way, kicks off with a nice steady guitar riff and keys. This gets the crowd dancing and arms are waving in the air. This is such an intimate show and it’s a good job Pekka Ansio Heino isn’t afraid of the fans, Emppu gives us a wicked pose early on and is eager to pose for fans with their cameras. Everyone is ecstatically screaming throughout and the room is heaving beyond belief. Pekka is practically singing above the crowd on the front row as they are about as close to stage as you can get.
Pekka says to all Birmingham you just took us by surprise, as they continue to blast through songs and the fans continue to roar away. They tell us they took a weekend off to come and play in England for a holiday and how much they appreciate us coming down.
They continue into One Single Breath, the first song they ever wrote it goes down well with the crowd singing along, the same for Runaways, which has the fans dancing crazily to the intro. Taste of a champion, again another fantastic track and it just seems to keep getting better as the show moves on with wild pace. Drummer Hannes PirilÃ¤ is working his socks off at the back but is very difficultly lit and the keys player Tomi Nikulainen is partly hidden by the guitarists but keeping great rhythm going on the keys.
The crowd actually get rowdier as the night goes on with I’m on Fire which has some good guitar solos which are played with precision. The funniest and most heart warming moment is when they tell us that it will take 6 months to come down from this and we are thanked for making them feel like Rock Stars, but then the reality sets in when they punch the sky and they hit the ceiling! The closing track is I Am Rock, finishing on a great high, I don’t want to go home but we have little choice.
Brother Firetribe delivered a stunning show in an intimate venue, next time it will need to be considerably larger.
Reviewer/Photographer: Chris Bowley