The Academy Is + We The Kings + The Maine @ Birmingham Barfly – 20th September 2008


A lovely sunny day in Birmingham; this is great for American band The Academy Is as this keeps their fans in high spirits. When everyone enters The Barfly at 7pm, people immediately make their way to the front of the venue, eager to get to the front.

First on stage were indie rockers, The Maine, a band that were originally unknown to me. As they were on first I assumed the audience would be quiet and would stand relatively still, however this was the wrong assumption to make; everyone was jumping around and dancing a long, the atmosphere was amazing and it was refreshing to see a support act getting such a good reaction. It seemed there were a lot of enthusiastic people in the crowd and it was very amusing watching them. The Maine may not have been surrounded by their fans, but that didnt matter as they definitely made new fans! This is a band that you should look out for. Their stunning songs “Girls Do What They Want” and “The Way We Talk” are highly recommended and can be heard on myspace. When The Maine left stage the audience were displeased and were very impatient, they wanted to hear more.

We The Kings We The Kings

This was great news for the next band on stage; We The Kings. Once again they got an amazing reaction, before they began playing they were welcomed on stage by hundreds of screaming girls and cheering boys. We The Kings looked genuinely surprised by this reaction but also pleased as it calmed any nerves they were feeling. This band were also lacking in fans from this particular crowd but were not put off by this, they also managed to make new fans and seemed to really enjoy their time in the lime light. “Check Yes Juliet” got everyone bouncing along, and they proved to be a worthy support band. The bands were well picked for this show and everyone had a very good night right from the beginning.

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Finally, when it was time for The Academy Is… to grace us with their presence, the mosh pit went wild, virtually everyone screamed as loudly as possible. They began by playing a few new songs from their newest album “Fast Times at Barrington High“, between each song vocalist William Beckett bantered with his fans and his attention was immediately attracted to a young girl who screamed much louder than the rest of the people around her. Beckett referred to her as a Pterodactyl and once he’d heard her first squeal he said “Hey can you do that again?”, feeling very excited about being picked out by the front man she responded by squealing even louder. A round of applause erupted in the little venue and The Academy Is… couldn’t hide their laughter, it must be interesting to see what kind of fans they have. Each time they started playing a song the audience would cheer and begin singing straight away, this proved how loved this band are and at one point it wasn’t them I was listening to, it was the chanting fans, they sung every word of every song at the top of their voices. “We’ve Got A Big Mess On Our Hands” got the best response, as it’s an older song, it may be the favourite of the older fans.


This night was spectacular and everyone really enjoyed themselves, it was a night that will not be forgotten.
All three bands are brilliant live and will become well known in the future!

Review – Georgina Walsh

Photos – Keith West

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