Sunday, 12 June 2016

Lacey Headline Tour

Support from Speaking in Shadows, Forty Four Hours, The Idol Dead, Cut The Heroics, Alterverse, A Mouthful of Matches and Danny Gruff
June 3rd, 4th, 5th 6th and 7th
Leeds Key Club, Nottingham Rock City, Newcastle Think Tank, Manchester Sound Control and London Surya.

One of the things that I have always wanted to tick on my bucket list was the chance to say that I have followed one of my favourite bands for every date of a tour and when I saw Lacey announce that they would be embarking on a mini tour I knew that this was my chance.

Lacey announced five dates in five cities with static supports from Speaking in Shadows and Forty Four Hours.  To add even more value for money they also added a different local support for each city.

Support choice for Leeds were The Idol Dead. 

The Idol Dead are a glam punk rock band from Leeds and consist of Polly on vocals, Tim, KC , Dan and Nish.  It was my first time seeing these guys as I had missed them at a couple of festival dates in the past and after feedback from friends I was looking forward to their set.  They did not disappoint!

They played a jam packed set of original material which had you hooked from the first note through to the very last.  They were upbeat and, even at such an early time in the run, managed to get the audience participation going. 

I will definitely be checking these guys out again when I get the chance.

Nottingham's local support was Cut the Heroics.  I've encountered Cut The Heroics before as they have supported Lacey on a couple of occasions and I've always enjoyed their sets.  Cut the Heroics are a three piece made up of Joe, Kieran and Stephen.

These guys also played a set of original material, which had catchy tunes that you couldn't help but tap your foot to.  They sounded great and put in a performance that shows how much they have progressed since the last time I saw them. These guys are one to watch.

Newcastle's support came in the form of Alterverse.  I had the chance to see these guys in the recent Patent Pending tour and I wasn't really impressed, so I was looking forward to them proving that the last time was an off night.  

Unfortunately that wasn't the case.  Their music and onstage banter was awkward and disjointed. The lead singer didn't have much in the way of charisma and they failed to hold my attention.

A Mouthful of Matches were support choice for Manchester. They are a five piece from Manchester consisting of Tom, Helen, Jane, Mark and Steven.  These guys had loads of energy and put in a really solid performance.  The lead singer had a cracking voice and all of their songs were catchy and well played.

London's support came in the form of solo artist Danny Gruff, who I have seen on quite a few occasions before. Danny has the kind of personality that can captivate and win over any audience. He is naturally funny as well as being a fantastic performer.  During his set he played songs such as the 'Hangover Song', 'Silence In The Storm' and crowd pleaser 'Smile'.   

'Smile' unfortunately has its own dance which many people aptly name the flappy hand dance, as you have to raise your arms in the air and wave your hands when Danny gives the 'secret wink' at the start if the chorus.  However as the venue has to be one of the warmest, sweatiest venues I have ever been in, he changed this to the dinosaur dance so that people would hold their elbows into the side of their torso while waving like a T Rex; so they didn't have to smell 'sweaty pits'. 

During this song Danny got Grazz, Josh and Dave from headliners Lacey up on stage to demonstrate the dance which had the audience rolling round with laughter as none of the Lacey guys could quite get the hang of the dance.

Danny never fails to deliver and tonight was no different!

I can honestly say that Forty Four Hours were a band that I have never come across until this week.  

Forty Four Hours are currently based in Manchester however they actually hail from my hometown of Blackburn.  Having never checked them out before or heard anything about them I really didn't know what to expect and I have to admit that on that first night I was pleasantly surprised.

Forty Four Hours are Joe, Alex and Alix who describe themselves as an alternative band, however their mellow rock tunes have a slight reggae undertone to them.  Forty Four Hours set is packed with music from their debut EP 'Only Just Holding On', my favourite track being 'Difficult', which they played each night along with the other tracks.

They held the audience's attention  throughout every show and should gain quite a following from this tour as I never heard anyone say a bad thing about them.  I definitely feel that these guys have a good career in front of them.  Grab a copy of their EP and see for yourself.

Main support came from Speaking In Shadows who I've had the pleasure of seeing a couple of times before as they have played with Lacey previously.  

Hailing from Nuneaton the quintet made up of Adam,  Lewis, Paul, Sam and Grant really know how to get the crowd warmed up.

Their set included a good range of songs from very early 2013 single release  'Sweet Gemini' to  'Scatter' from their latest EP 'The Anchor', as well as many more between.  Their songs are fast paced and full of energy, with great chorus lines and loads of 'whoa ohs' for the crowd to sing along with.

Looking round the crowd it was obvious that they have built themselves quite a following of loyal fans and I have a feeling I could be amongst that number in the future.

If you have visited this blog before or have read any of my past reviews you will know that Lacey are one of my favourite bands  and so the temptation of five consecutive nights of the boys was too hard to pass up.

Each night Lacey performed two sets.  

The first being a pre-show VIP acoustic set which cost fans an extra £5 on top of the general ticket price, however for the VIP experience you got a five song acoustic set which included 'Tonight', 'The Last Time', 'Hoax', 'Burning Out' and their cover  of Jimmy Eat World's 'The Middle'. 

The acoustic set each night sounded fantastic and was well received by everyone. I've mentioned before on my blog how much I really enjoy Lacey's acoustic sets as they show just how talented they really are. 

The VIP also included a signed poster (currently £4 each on the merch/web store) and the chance to hang out with them until general admission doors.  It was the perfect deal for any Lacey fan and an absolute bargain.

Lacey's main set was crammed full of songs from their debut album 'Under The Brightest Lights' and their current EP 'I Don't Owe The World A Thing', including 'My Eyes Are Open', 'Change The Story', 'Older', 'Contender', 'Hoax', 'I Don't Owe The World A Thing', 'Ghost While I'm Alive' and 'Take me Home'.

We also got treated to Lacey's cover version of Blink 182's 'Dammit', which was requested by fans on their Facebook page after the debut of this cover during the Bowling for soup tour earlier in the year.

One thing fans hadn't counted on were the two solo performances from lead singer Graham 'Grazz' Turner, who took to the stage to play 'Wait Till Tomorrow' from 'Under The Brightest Lights' and my favourite song from 'I Don't Owe The World A Thing';  'You Know Nothing', which is a haunting and honest song that is calming and soothing but with enough emotion and power to take your breath away.

The whole performance is laced with emotion and honesty and it is fair to say that all of the songs, with the exception of Dammit,  mean a lot to these boys.  When they say that they have poured their heart and soul into their craft they are not lying and it is obvious why they are attracting the growing fan base that they have.  This is one band I have recommended to countless  friends and will continue to do so as they get better and better each time I see them

Some people think I'm mad for doing more than one night of any tour but in all honesty I do not want to miss a single Lacey show.  I've now seen them 61 times since I first encountered them in April 2013 and as I finish this entry I'm eagerly waiting for the next show to be announced.

 Photography courtesy of Phil Procter

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