One foot in the right direction, support band shine in the
Having lived in Norwich for almost 2 and a half years, I could not believe that I had never graced The Waterfront for a gig before. The venue holds fond memories of many drunken escapades yet, I had always known of the musical promise in this area and I was keen to sink my teeth into an evening of light entertainment. On paper, Declan Mckenna is not necessarily my cup of tea, however, my interest here was with the support band Feet, who kindly were able to put me and a couple of pals on the guestlist.
Being the only support band on any line-up must be a daunting task, especially for a band that have only officially released two tracks. Despite the long queue that snaked the cool Norwich streets, the venue was remarkably packed for Feet. They opened with an immediate energy which caught me by surprise, the fans of the band replied with a similar energy and eventually this simmered across the room to fuel what felt like a communal bounce.
As they rattled through a number of songs, which accumulated to around 30 minutes, the enthusiasm of the boys continued to fall from the stage and melt into the audience. The longer the set lasted the more people were getting involved. Petty Thieving, the band’s lead single, was a huge hit with the crowd. The sharp changes of pace and pounding timbre increased the vigour of their sound further. The thrashing of the drum that marked the hook of the song set the audience up for the frenzy that was to follow, colliding in a huddle of jostling bodies. Playing this one as the last track in their set truly whet the whistle for the fans of Declan McKenna who were now chomping at the bit to experience even more music.
One thing that must be said for Feet, and in fact Declan McKenna, was the clear passion seen on stage. It was evident from their sheer energy alone that they were proud of the songs they had curated and were happy to be performing them to a sold-out room of adoring fans. Big things are coming, I can’t imagine it will be long until they will be selling out venues of this calibre themselves.
There was certainly a buzz throughout The Waterfront for the arrival of Declan McKenna. This was the first time I had ever been to a gig where a musician was younger than I am, which is an incredible achievement. Hosting a string of sold out shows across the length and breadth of the country with its conclusion coming to the famous KOKO in London, it is impossible to not applaud McKenna’s rise to fame.
The crowd was clouded by shrieks and screams coming from the younger members of his fanbase, as the lights dropped we were launched into a series of acoustic ditties. The musicianship of the artist was impressive, both he and his backing band sounded incredibly tight and looked as though they were genuinely enjoying their craft. Most of the songs that he played were greeted with a bounce from the crowd, it electrified the venue. Despite this I was not a fan however of McKenna’s stage antics between tracks. His persistent ‘banter’ with the crowd about Heinz Baked Beans (as he was wearing a t-shirt with the logo printed on it) ground my patience very thin, it was met by a gaggle of giggles, again from the younger members of the audience. I guess he knows how to appeal to his fan base. Hits such as The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home and I Am Everybody Else were very fun listens and showed his impressive stage presence.
However, for me I feel as though there was not enough bite, this may be because of his style or because I am not accustomed to indie gigs but there was just something missing. One thing that did put a smile on my face was the fact that it was possible to see the enjoyment on the artists face, it was clear that he was playing songs that he loved and fulfilling a dream. Fair play. It is hard to find someone nowadays that hasn’t heard Declan McKenna or at least his main hit Brazil, it is impossible to deny that there are big things coming for this lad.