Tonight, two bands gather together who we’ve been begging to tour for as long as we can remember. That’s right, Nantwich rockers Blitz Kids team up with London/Bucks based Young Guns to deliver an evening that’s been long-awaited.
First up are Blitz Kids. With only two bands on, and a 40 minute set, there’s an added pressure in the air. In the last year, the four-piece have gone from strength-to-strength following the release of their debut The Good Youth. Bizarrely though, from the outset of their set, its as if the band aren’t quite themselves.
The crowd are usually awash with screams and chants for the guys, but this time there’s an uneasy plateau of lackluster energy. Despite the glass being half empty, it doesn’t stop the band from trying to turn it around. From ‘Sometimes’ to ‘Run For Cover’, their easy-listening, easy-going attitude is a joy to watch. Even some rarely played material sneaks its way into the set.
It seems no matter how many jokes guitarist Jono Yates pulls, the crowd are itching for the main event, and that’s tough to compete with. Still, with vocals from Joe James packed to the brim with notes of the highest talents, they claw the crowd back towards the end. Nothing could be done to draw attention from the following band in question.
“Sorry we’ve been away for so long!” says Young Guns frontman Gustav Wood, as he addresses The Haunt after three years away from Brighton’s illustrious seaside venue. Not that you’d be able to tell though. The show isn’t just sold out, its packed out. The crowd took one look at the five-piece as they burst onto the stage, and roared with applause. Its clear the time away hasn’t damaged the band’s status. Young Guns are in demand more than ever before.
The set kicks off with familiar high-octane energy in the form of single ‘I Want Out’. As the crowd chant “woah!” repeatedly, there’s an electric feeling in the room that the guys have a new lease of motivation following the recording of upcoming album Ones and Zeros. From an everlastingly engaging Gustav to bold backing musicianship, the band mean business.
The evening swings back and forth from old material to new. Classic favourite ‘Weight of the World’ and iconic gig closer ‘Bones’ charge the crowd’s batteries to maximum capacity, as the room becomes a sea of hands. With surprises ‘After The War’ and ‘Everything Ends’ thrown in for good measure, we’re treated to a setlist full of the band’s attempts to showcase their five year journey in a nutshell.
Nothing surprises more though than the new material. Although we’ve heard it all over the radio and what not already; live, the tracks become game changers. Young Guns’ guitar and drum heavy live presence give unreleased new track ‘Daylight’ a radio-friendly, yet hard rock edge that make it a knockout.
Its clear that this is a new era for the band. Long gone is the expected. Now, we don’t know what to expect anymore. But with each member on stage laden with smiles and promises that Ones and Zeros boasts their strongest tracks to date, we can’t help but believe them.