A cold March night in the centre of Birmingham, I decided to have a cigarette outside before venturing into the Bar Academy. People start trickling in about half seven, so I decide to join. Sat at the back of the room looking at the empty stage, I see members of Miss Conduct walking around and setting up their merchandise stall selling a selection of t-shirts, hoodies and CDs from both themselves and Brighton based support, Over and Out.
The time is now 8:15, and Over and Out start their set with full blown pop-punk riffs and upbeat ska breaks. After the first song, as well as cracking jokes about the Birmingham’s Bull Ring landmark, saying “Is it just one huge Selfridges?”, singer and lead guitarist Kyle decides to introduce a new addition to the band, Stevie who is on bass, synth and backing vocals. Stevie brings to Over and Out what Rou brings to Enter Shikari, in the sense it’s a step in a different direction to the main bulk of their influence. In Over and Out’s case, away from the generic norm on pop-punk influences such as Blink 182, NOFX while swaying towards a healthy dose of Reel Big Fish ska. With the added synth, this band has a slight ‘90s happy hardcore feel to them, which in my opinion is a breath of fresh air with the current state of music.
However, cutting a forty-five minute set to a measly half an hour, the crowd seem a bit cheated, but walk away happy.
Twenty five minutes later, Welsh five piece Miss Conduct, enter the stage twenty minutes early to the crowd’s delight. A tidal wave of smiling scene and emo kids rush towards to stage while lead vocalist Emma Jane kicks straight into City Burns Alive.
Clambering into the front-row Emma seems to be a real crowd pleaser, along with bassist Benj smiling and laughing throughout the whole set while drummer Ronnie loses sticks in the background. Guitarists Gav and Shiner seem to be enjoying themselves too, despite the poor turnout.
Once the opening chords of Six Feet Under came in, I decided to join the crowd, seeing that this band could really follow in the footsteps of fellow Welsh act Lostprophets, who played with Miss Conduct at 2007’s Full Ponty Festival.
Finishing their set with the song everyone knows them for, Sinner vs. Sinned, Emma decides to get a few of the crowd members involved by passing the microphone to a girl in the front row to sing the chorus. A mistake made by most bands, but tonight it worked for the Welsh quintet.
Review & Photos -Jude Butler