Ill Nino @ Birmingham Academy 2 – 29th April 2008


When I arrived at the Academy 2 tonight first band of the night Civillian!! had already taken to the stage. With their rather melodic vocals yet heavy metal guitars, at first glance, seemed an unlikely choice to open the show. They only looked young, but what they lacked in age they made up for in professionalism, constantly plunging themselves into the crowd, they went down a storm, and wound everyone up nicely for the next band of the night. They are defiantly one to watch for the future, and hopefully supporting Il Nino will give them some well deserved recognition and attention.


Maybe there was too much testosterone floating around the room for female fronted Die So Fluid to fit in tonight. The 3 piece were met with a somewhat muted crowd, even with the bellowing vocals of lead singer Grog filling the room. With little crowd interaction compared to that of Civillian!! beforehand, Die So Fluid didn’t seem to get the fans going, and you got the feeling the majority of people weren’t here to see them. Maybe there was apprehension on the part of the band, after last nights show in Wrexham was pulled after Grog was electrocuted on stage (through faulty wiring), or maybe, the Tarrie B (My Ruin) look-alike needs to ditch the bass for a cordless mic and venture off the stage. Even so, it was a fantastic set from the band, but they seemed slightly removed from the crowd, which was a shame as I can imagine on their own headlining tour they would be wonderful.

Clearly the majority of people in the busy Academy 2 were here for one band only; Il Nino. The band had spent most of tonight talking to fans, posing for photos and inspecting the die hard fan’s Il Nino tattoos. Even just before they went on stage, they still had time to pose for one last photo and I really hoped these seemingly nice guys wouldn’t disappoint their adoring crowd.


Entering the stage in complete darkness, the crowd began to deafeningly chant their name, and the atmosphere was electric. The lights went up and they opened with ‘If You Still Hate Me’, which no one here obviously did. Dreadlocks flying everywhere, the band’s presence erupted the masses in to a frenzy. After the disaster of the show being pulled the day before, and other support band Forever Never’s bus crash knocking them out of the tour, you could understand if Il Nino hadn’t put their heart and soul into tonight’s set. But they did. Breaking into roars and with a distinctive, almost tribal drum sound at some points, they had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands with new and classic material alike. The band seemed too big for the stage throughout the set and next time I would love to see them downstairs in the main room. They may have had a shaky night on tour last night but none of that was apparent to me tonight, and by the smiles on faces as the gig drew to a close their loving fans didn’t think so either. I don’t think anyone left tonight disappointed or dissatisfied.

Review & Photos – Lucy Pryor

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