LiveLoudCov Summer Showcase @ Square One, Coventry 20 July, 2019

On Friday July 20th, Square One opened its doors to six up-and-coming Midlands-based bands as LiveLoudCov put on their second showcase of the summer. The stage, which is actually part of Coventry University’s student Hub and located inside the building itself, marked a huge upsize for some of the smaller bands on the bill. At the start of the evening the night looked more than promising, especially with the student-priced drinks from behind the bar, and after a slightly delayed start, the remainder of the night ran smoothly.

First up on Square One’s stage were Birmingham-boys Lilleburn, followed by What’s Left, Cornflakes at Kelly’s, Flares, Parade and finishing off the night were Mvnich. Scroll down to read the full review. 


This dynamic duo did a fairly decent job of setting off the night as they warmed up the eager-beavers who made their way down to the venue when the doors opened. The two Brummies performed a range of originals such as synthy, pop-infused ‘Boys/Girls/Hearts’ as well as a cover of The Cure’s ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. Lead singer Ross Tidmus flaunted his emo-inspired look and his boy-next-door attitude while drummer Tom James sat modestly at the back as his bandmate took on the difficult task of entertaining a sober audience. The set had a couple of new songs, such as ‘Hold On’, a song that Ross announced was about drugs, and ‘Tell Me I’m Pretty’, which allegedly helps to boost his confidence. The boys’ slot ended with ‘Don’t Talk’ and helped ensure that the crowd were suitably ready for the following five acts of the night. 

What’s Left

Nuneaton-based rock trio What’s Left took to the stage as the second act on the night’s bill. Despite seeming a little shy at first, it soon became apparent that their musical intensity made up for this nervous start as the melodies unfolded and the band began to relax.  

Their set opened with ‘I Don’t Mind’ which led beautifully into ‘Thin Ice’, a song packed with humongous riffs and bags of attitude. ‘Crack in the Clouds’ was the song which suddenly set the band apart from being just another local band; the riffs seemed to effortlessly pour out of lead singer Lewis Jones’ guitar and the ¾ tempo helped the song build up to a truly climatic chorus of chaos. ‘Shovel’ was an incredible head-banger with a hard-hitting punky demeanour, but sadly this short-lived tune only lasted for 90 seconds. 

Their penultimate song ‘Do It To Me’ is the first song from their recently released EP Don’t Look Down and had the crowd gripped from the off, while the last song of the night ‘No One’s Home’ sent the crowd wild and managed the hold the attention of the tipsy spectators for the entirety of the 5-minute-long song. The crowd cried for more but unfortunately it was the end of the band’s allocated slot, however it’s almost definite that we’ll be seeing lots more of What’s Left in the future.

Cornflakes at Kelly’s

Coventrians Cornflakes at Kelly’s stormed the stage and delivered one of their most confident and enthralling sets to date. The band began their scorcher of a set with 16-year-old drummer Tyler ‘Badger’ Bosworth banging out a drum solo, which swiftly led into the start of their first song of the night ‘Dynamite’. Bassist James Robertson then slid into the song with a thunderous bass intro and before long the rest of the band followed suit.

The band glided gracefully through the set, laying down funky-head-boppers like ‘Something New’ and angst-fueled bangers such as ‘Just the Way She Likes’. The tempo then dropped as lead singer Jack Cole pulled out his electro-acoustic guitar to play apathy-filled tune ‘For the Night’, which had a fantastic attention-retaining mix of tempos. The stadium-ready anthem ‘Cover Your Bruises’ is one of the band’s newer creations, yet it came to light that bassist James actually wrote this song over ten years ago at the mere age of 13. The catchy body-jolter fuses the band’s signature style with a more classic-rock-inspired vibe to create a beautiful blend of vocals and instrumentation.

The final songs of the set include ‘Sapphire Heart’ in which the room is split in half and were persuaded to compete against each other in a lyric-screaming battle, followed by the band’s debut single ‘Honey It’s Kinda Hard’, which has only been out for a couple of weeks yet managed to rack up over 1,000 streams in its first 7 days on Spotify alone. Catch the boys in Birmingham next month at The Victoria for their first ever Brum gig.


Birmingham-based band Flares ignited the room with their energy-filled performance as the fourth band of the evening. The vocals of lead singers Arthur and Edie were enchanting and both singers provided delicate harmonies that were woven throughout their entire performance.

The set opened with ‘Close but Not Enough’ which led into ‘Tunnel Vision’, a song that has racked up over 10,000 listens on Spotify (which is super impressive for a band of secondary-school-attending teens). Next up was an unreleased song ‘Parma Violets’ which provided not only a funky beat to dance to, but a mass amount of indie rock-infused instrumentation. It was during this song that lead guitarist Leo broke a string, however the professional youngsters persevered and the whole escapade would have gone unnoticed had the replacement guitar not been a beautiful bright blue mustang. 

The band’s third song of the night ‘Keep It’ has been online for just over a month and allowed the band to show their cheeky personalities while the crowd had a rather aggressive boogie. This was followed by a cover of the Sugababes’ hit single ‘About You Now’ where Edie took on the solo role of lead singer and passed the bass over to Arthur. The set proceeded with ‘Stuck’, another unreleased song that builds itself up just to be broken down again near the end, followed by ‘Castle of Cards’, an Arctic-Money-esque arena-ready anthem which featured a dedicated six-person mosh pit consisting of the band’s best mates. 

The set ended with ‘Lightning’, a playful song which was only released on the morning of the gig, however the band played it with confidence and managed to stay humble when more than half of the crowd smushed together in one giant jumping mob. It is difficult to believe that this band is made up of such young members as their on-stage presence is as refined as bands ten-or-so years older, so sit tight and fasten your seatbelts as these teens will undoubtedly be huge. 


Parade showered the stage with their mysterious, captivating vibe and provided 30 minutes of trancing music that had no difficulty catching the attention of the audience. The Coventry-based boys are regulars on their local music-scene, and the past few months have seen the band climb the popularity ladder at a steady rate. 

The lads’ set included a number of fan-favourites such as ‘Maps’, an uplifting, heart-warming banger that allowed the crowd to delve into a mind-set of self-reflection, and ‘Arras’, a body-swaying tune that was only made better by the moody lighting and secretive vibes the band continuously seem to emit. Paul Watters played the role of lead singer with confidence where he showed no problem immersing himself in his performance, and lead guitarist/synth guru Phil Morley showed how refined his multitasking skills were as he switched between guitar and keyboard constantly throughout the set. The set also included a number of unreleased songs such as ‘Seconds’, ‘Be Brave’ and ‘Attack!’ which we’ll hopefully be seeing more of at upcoming gigs over the next few months. 

The final songs of the night were ‘Colours’, a catchy toe-tapper that drugs everyone into dancing along with the band, and new song ‘Hertz’ which is the band’s newest addition to the set that did a beautiful job of closing the band’s slot. The only downfall of watching Parade is you’re left wishing their songs lasted longer, however we know it won’t be long before we inevitably see these boys around Coventry again. 


Mvnich had arguably one of the most challenging slots of the night, which was mainly due to the fact the crowd had spent the majority of their time in between the sets of the previous five bands getting wasted at the student-priced bar. Regardless, the band definitely had a tough set of acts to follow, however this doesn’t excuse the fact the band appeared to be poorly prepared, a long wait can be tricky.

Lead singer Phil Callinan was possibly the only member with any charisma (and apparently, functioning legs) as he chatted to the crowd and danced around the stage, fully appreciating the opportunity the band had been given. The remainder of the upright band members stood like statues, and although it was expected that they’d be nervous (considering this show marked their first ever headline gig) their complete lack of stage presence sadly can’t be overlooked. Despite having three guitars on stage, it appeared only the lead guitar parts had any complex structure to them. The horde of strings became over-powering at times and made it difficult to enjoy the music itself; it seemed like the lads wanted to fit as many musically-inclined friends into a band as possible. The boys tried their best to retain the audience’s interest, however this didn’t stop over half the crowd wandering out at various points throughout the generous 45-minute slot. The band-dynamic was difficult to figure out as guitarist Danny Davis would take the mic for a couple of songs before it switched back to Phil.

The set featured a range of songs including ‘Hard to Breathe’ and ‘Teenage Fantasy’, and thankfully the performance improved in terms of audience captivation as well as song quality as the night proceeded. By the end of the set the band’s friends could be seem clambering onto each other’s shoulders’ (and then drunkenly falling off) as Phil showed off his unique voice and brought Mvnich’s first headline gig to a close with ‘Encase in Gold’. The remaining audience members milled around the bar getting their last orders in, and you could tell that a number of these gig-goers were left wondering how these lads managed to bag themselves the headline slot in such a large venue.

Despite the late finish and tired performers, the gig ended with all of the night’s acts clapping Mvnich off stage as they finished their debut headliner. Although there were a couple of mishaps the night was a complete success and featured some of Coventry’s finest new-comers, and the Birmingham Live team can’t wait to see what in store for these newbies in the next few months. 

Reviewer: Cara Jackson

Photography: Rhythian Morris

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1 thought on “LiveLoudCov Summer Showcase @ Square One, Coventry 20 July, 2019

  1. A great review, extremely descriptive and thorough and fabulous photographs also, looks like the true nature and spirit of the evening has been totally captured. Due to work of this nature, in the exact detail of the reviews and such great photographs, it really helps to get a band’s name around. There is no doubt that many of these bands have bright futures in front of them, particularly ‘Cornflakes At Kelly’s’. Well done again, AJ

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