West Thebarton @ Sunflower Lounge, 14th August 2018

By the time we arrived at the Sunflower Lounge on Tuesday evening local emo trio Chewie were taking to the stage, a new addition to the Birmingham live scene and a very welcome one at that. Releasing their debut single ‘Warm Hands, Cold Heart’ last month on Tree Of Life Records, the band had clearly brought some friends along that added some buzz to the performance with relatable and catchy sad songs.

Next up were Super Lemon Days whose schizophrenic grunge style kept the audience engaged and interested throughout their short performance. The unusual addition of a keyboardist brought a different element to the bands sonic output and the band will be touring the UK in September with a date at Subside.

As a live music fan, there’s nothing worse than when the summer months and festival season come around and thus the number of gigs drop off a cliff. That does however highlight the bands that do decide to play shows around this time and hence I stumbled upon West Thebarton who brought their debut UK tour to The Sunflower Lounge.

Flying over from Australia for a number of UK dates and festivals including sets at Reading & Leeds the band have clearly been building some buzz ahead of their appearance on our shores. And as the seven piece band squeezed onto the tiny stage, it’s clear that they’re perhaps used to slightly bigger stages than this. However I can tell you with almost certainty that next time they play the UK they will be.

The band sounded absolutely huge for the size of the room, with the ears being blasted off the audience throughout the band’s 45 minute set. Playing a mixture of tracks from their debut record ‘Different Beings Being Different’ as well as earlier releases, tracks such as ‘Bible Camp’ and ‘Stuck On You’ saw the band jumping around the stage and blowing any cobwebs from the speakers.

If you were to draw comparisons you could probably say they’re a little bit like if The Gaslight Anthem had a heavy night and decided to have a party. It’s perfect music to have a drink to, both in the sunshine of a field or the sticky floor of a rock club. It’s bloody great.

Reviewer: Dan Earl

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