Chapter and Verse @The Sunflower Lounge, 22 May 2019

When you enter The Sunflower Lounge and it’s full to the brim it’s such a relief. All too often smaller shows in the second city attract only a small bundle of people and you find yourself going to shows hoping that you’re not the only one there. But credit to Surprise You’re Dead for curating and hosting some of the strongest rock-based shows in the city, and on Wednesday evening it was packed as Chapter and Verse took to The Sunflower Lounge.  

Opening the show were local band Anchors and Alibis, who were already on stage as we got to the venue. However, what they showcased was fantastic musicianship, with lead vocalist James Whitehouse echoing the falsetto of Nothing but Thieves complemented by the driving and upbeat nature of the music. Certainly showing the strength and versatility of the local scene, whilst perfectly suited to the evening’s headliners.  

Next up were tour support Delaire The Liar whose name has started to creep into various festival line ups and music blogs over the past couple of months. Signed to Crooked Noise Records, the band produce a sound and aesthetic that’s clearly routed in emo and perhaps the more melodic sort such as Johnny Craig, however at times the set became a little draining and whiny. I’m sure that the younger version of myself would very much have enjoyed their set, and I am certain that there’s people out there that most certainly will.  

It’s been a long time coming for Chapter and Verse to have a headline show in Birmingham, and this one came as part of their debut UK headline tour. Following a recent tour with Emarosa, in which lead vocalist Josh covered the band’s vocals, Wednesday evening’s show was packed to the rafters with passionate and dedicated fans that clearly want nothing more than the band to succeed. Backed by a series of living room type lamps and a brand-new drummer in the form of ex Bad Sign’s Kevin Miller, the band seemed to have a new found urgency and energy in their live set that demonstrated a clear hunger and desire to be headlining much bigger rooms than this. Tracks such as The New Breed and ‘Magazines’ have clearly struck a chord with people that has allowed them to gracefully graduate from support act into headliners.  

 

 Review: Dan Earl 

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