The Midnight Beast at Southampton Guildhall (11/10/2012)

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I arrived a few hours early to the familiar venue of The Guildhall and already there were at least 200 fans (mainly teenage girls) waiting in the pouring rain, hoping to catch a glimpse of the gimmick rap trio The Midnight Beast. Made up of Stefan Abingdon, Ashley Horne and Dru Wakely the boys have gathered a pretty sturdy fan-base over the years and tonights turn out is no exception to their other shows. The Guildhall isn’t the best venue for sound quality but seeing as the night’s performance had a lot of visual enhancements it was more than just a music concert.

The guys kicked off the show by coming out on stage in suits and balaclavas. Amidst the many backing dancers, the crowd was unsure of who was who until the masks came off and the screams were turned up an extra notch. The band opened with the obviously titled ‘I Kicked A Shark In The Face’. The boys bounded around the stage with so much energy you wouldn’t have thought this was their 8th night of the tour. Stefan in particular was literally kicking the air on the chorus. I know that I was definitely having a great time so I can’t imagine what the excited teens were feeling.

To my delight the set wasn’t just the relatively new songs from their E4 show. They included some classics from way back in the days of their YouTube success such as ‘The Dance Routine’ and the less energetic and more ballad-esque ‘Friends for Never’. The show was enhanced by backing dancers and a screen projection along with costumes and props. Personal favourites of mine throughout the set included the classic ‘Lez Be Friends’ which sounded amazing live; the timing on the chorus was impeccable. They also included my favourite from the E4 series ‘Beggin’ which is really just an absolutely belter of a pop song! They also played ‘Just Another Boyband’ which is actually a very good comment on the state of production in the pop (in particular, boy band) scene. If young girls are singing along to the gimmick lyrics but also learning how manufactured bands like ‘One Direction’ are, it is definitely productive for everyone.

They finished the set with an encore of the ‘Tik Tok Parody’ and ‘Booty Call’. The thing about The Midnight Beast is that the lyrics are hilarious yet very true to society. They are so attuned to the culture of young adults that fans can see a likeness and identify with it. And also beneath it all there are some musical brains that are very talented and capable. All in all, a great night and never have a felt so at home singing the words ‘Strategy Wanking!’ over and over. I can safely say, a smile never left my face throughout the whole night.

The Midnight Beast’s self titled debut album is out now on their own record label Sounds Like Good

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About Author

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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