Seaway @ o2 Institute, 15 January 2018

Following the release of their third studio record ‘Vacation’ last year, pop punkers Seaway brought some sunshine to Birmingham on Monday evening.

Opening the show was Lizzy Farrall, who recently signed to Pure Noise Records to release her debut EP ‘All I Said Was Never Heard’. Although presented as a full band project, for this tour Farrall was backed by two acoustic guitarists to perform more stripped down versions of her songs. A very engaging and emotional performance, this teaser will certainly have made fans eager to hear the EP and hopefully see Farrall as part of a live full band outfit in the not too distant future.

Acting as main support for the show were Scottish pop punkers Woes, who have been seen on many one’s to watch in 2018 lists and were a driver for me attending this show to see what all the hype was about. Let’s start with the positives. The band were full of energy from the get go bouncing up and down and encouraging the audience to do the same, and clearly have songs in the bank that will  work well on record after some fine tuning. And here in lies the negatives, in that the vocals were some of the poorest I have heard in the live environment since little David got up to do Jolene at the school talent show. Whether this is due to natural ability I’m not convinced, it sounded more like a band who had partied a little too hard and their performance was struggling as a consequence. A disappointing position to be in on a tour that could have opened the band up to so many more fans, and perhaps it will have done in a recorded sense, but I for one will not be going to see the band in the live environment again anytime soon.

It was then finally time for Seaway to take to the stage, and give Birmingham a fun filled hour of great tunes, finger pointing and more fun. Extending the theme behind the new record Vacation, lead vocalist Ryan Locke donned an impressive Hawaiian shirt, with tracks such as Lula on the Beach and Something Wonderful adding some sunshine to the cold winter’s night. Older tracks such as Best Mistake and Airhead still manage to get the crowd as pumped as ever, as well as the now signature ‘Everything Is Cool Man’ of Slam being a drop that some club DJ’s would be jealous of. For what it’s worth a Seaway set is a pop punk by numbers show, there was even a guy in front of me wearing a pizza t-shirt, but that’s why they’ve managed to carve out a successful career balancing impressive support slots with regular headline tours. Everything is cool man.

 

Reviewer: Dan Earl

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