Review: Circa Waves at The Joiners (17/11/2014)

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Bursting at the seams, The Joiners erupted into a frenzy of flailing limbs when Liverpudlian quartet Circa Waves kicked off the evening with a raucous rendition of ‘Young Chasers’. High octane, high tempo exuberance from the band was a staple of their forty-five minute stint on the diminutive stage.

Support came courtesy from punk trio Public Access TV, hailing from New York. Their fast sound managed to get some heads bopping and bump the temperature up a degree or two. It was the headliners, Circa Waves, that raised the heat to an insatiable level, band and punters sweat soaked alike. Wiping his brow guitarist Joe Falconer asked if this was ‘the hottest gig ever?’. Definitely maybe.

Front man Keiran Shuddall, bassist Sam Rourke and guitarist Joe Falconer all loomed over the ruckus below, particularly intrepid, the heads of their guitars almost cracked heads. All the while drummer Sian Plummer provided the earth quaking percussion. The four-piece followed their opener with the equally rampant ‘Good For Me’, Shuddall pausing for the crowd to scream back the eponymous and infectious hook in the chorus.

As they are yet to release an album, you could be forgiven for expecting a fleeting stop over from the boys. But Shuddall frequently introduced a ‘new one’ for the expectant folk squeezed into the Joiners black cauldron. New tracks, ‘Catch My Breath’ ‘Lost it’ and ‘Forget It’ all followed in quick succession. Typical brash guitar anthemia that you would expect from the indie pop outfit, the perpetually jumping crowd ate it up, despite not knowing the words. All elbows, bouncing and ‘woohoo’s.

Shudall then asked if the crowd were ready for the next one, their latest single ‘So Long’. Unashamedly upbeat, the band have drawn comparisons with The Vaccines for their infectious sound, but with tracks like ‘So Long’, there’s a certain lack of polish that marks them out on their own.

Circa Waves saw the night out in pandemonium. ‘Get Away’, their hit single from December of last year whipped the crowd up in absolute anarchy. The stage was soon invaded by adventurous audience members and used as a launch pad. Security certainly had their hands full. The band soon followed suit, Shuddall and Rourke leaping onto the adoring crowd, guitars still in hand, song still in procession. Such was the story of the evening, brash and energetic from all in attendance from first to the very last. Many fans remained after the music to desperately grab a guitar pick or set list as a memento for the triumphant display.

After the music and chaos had died down, all four members of the Circa Waves stuck around to sign merchandise, chat and share a pint with the supporters. When asked about what he had to say about Southampton the first thing that sprang to Rourke’s mind was the madness of the crowd. Their debut at the venue last year was much more sparsely populated than the evening of the 17th. Yet on both occasions he was taken aback by the enthusiasm and lunacy of their Southampton faithful.

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Im Freddie and Im a nerd. I go to as many gigs as I can because I love getting elbowed in the face to the sound of music.

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