Hailing from Los Angeles, they took to the stage at 5:30pm which was ridiculously early, so early in fact that the Academy was hardly full. It was a bit disappointing for me personally as I’ve wanted to see Time Again live for ages, especially after they pulled out of their last tour due to ill health after only a few dates. Nevertheless, front man Daniel Dart cut an impressive figure on stage bundled up in a high necked coat with many mysterious tattoos poking through. They played with energy and passion, and ripped through tracks from their first and second and newest album ‘Darker Days’. By the time they finished with the award winning ‘Cold Concrete’, the crowd had warmed up nicely and it felt like the night had begun.
Next up were Street Dogs. I hadn’t ever really heard of them before tonight and by the end of their set I certainly wouldn’t forget them! As they swaggered on the stage with many cans of Guinness in hand, you could see it was going to be an interesting gig! They were definitely fired up and injected some life into the crowd with their alcohol fueled Boston punk sound. They didn’t sound that different to headliners Flogging Molly, but with a more aggressive undercut, which one silly member of the audience found out first hand. Half way through their impressive performance, front man Michael McColgan stopped the show because someone threw something at him from the audience. He challenged the guy to throw a full drink over him if he thought he was that clever, at which McColgan and guitarist Tobe Bean the 3rd jumped in the crowd and started a fight with the idiot that decided to pelt them with ice cubes (I think). The poor security didn’t know who to tackle first! Anyway even with the interruption it was a fantastic set from the guys who have recently signed to Tim Armstrong’s Hellcat Records, expect to hear more of them in the near future!
Skindred were next and maybe the most of unusual choice of support band next. Their ‘raga-metal’ music didn’t really fit in with the rest of the punk bands tonight, but they drew a massive and enthusiastic crowd nonetheless. Benji is always a brilliant front man and seems to have some kind of hold over every audience he performs in front of. Playing a mix of the old classics like ‘Nobody’ and ‘Pressure’ always receive an immense reaction, and even a bit of a circle pit. New song ‘Trouble’ went down well too. I always find Skindred a bit of a weird band in that they always sell out concerts but you never see their records in the charts? I think that makes me like them more though! They certainly got the crowd rattling the barriers and dancing all the way to the back of the room tonight.
Headliners Flogging Molly always draw such a mixture of people to their gigs. Punks, skinheads and the sensibly dressed over 40s were all here to see the Irish punk 7 piece founded in LA. To be fair they are such a mixture of a band, playing a range of instruments from guitars, drums bass, to the tin whistle, violin and accordion. They are all talented musicians in their own right as well as brilliantly entertaining performers. The heavy Celtic influence throughout their music makes you want to dance like Michael flatly yet the punk sound makes you want to mosh, so watching people in a Flogging Molly audience is always great. They played a mix of songs from the 5 albums they have released. The song ‘Drunken Lullaby’s’ was a definite crown pleaser, and had people dancing and shimmying all over the academy.
The only disappointments for me personally were that the gig wasn’t a sell out, and that it had to start and finish so early to allow for the club night after the gig. 4 such popular bands should have had a sell out night that went on past the curfew of 10pm. That aside it was a brilliant afternoon/evening, and after the gig all the bands ended up in the pub next door (Scruffy Murphy’s) to have a drink with their fans, which was a fantastic end to the day.
Review & Photos – Lucy Pryor