A little after 8pm, Rob Lynch walks on stage alone, with just a guitar for company. Acoustic acts can go one of two ways: complete flop or pure perfection. Fortunately tonight was the latter and Rob provided a beautiful steady pace to begin the evening. His powerful deep voice and radio-friendly pop rock starts the evening off in style.
Four-piece Essex-based band The Morning After are the second support act of the evening. The band fuse together modern day metal with classic 80s melody and style. If you got rid of the humour and talk of sex they actually sound like a British Steel Panther (and without the leopard print leggings and big hair!). The band are tight but it is guitarist Phil Maher who seems to steal the show with his fast-paced, immaculate finger work. The band end on a snippet of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ to lift the crowd’s spirits before tonight’s headliners.
Having just signed a new record deal a mere few hours prior to this, The First have even more reason to smile. Amidst writing and recording a second album things certainly are picking up for the Norfolk-based band. The crowd really pull forward and circle the stage, although no one really wants to get all that close. Having previously toured with bands such as Deaf Havana, Blessed With A Broken Heart and Kids Can’t Fly they’ve had plenty of practice out on the road, yet headline shows seem few and far between.
This band are true rock and roll. Pounding drums, rhythmic and riff-filled guitar parts and pulsing bass lines encompass each track. Enhanced by a dash of metal vocals screamed by Tim and finished off with the clean vocals of frontman Benny. The high point of the set comes in the form of current single ‘Take It Back’ with its catchy rock tone, toe-tapping rhythm and singalong chorus. It’s bands like The First who should really get people excited about the future of the UK rock scene.
Reviewer: Rhian Westbury
Photos: Graham Berry