Tonight looks like it’s just going to be one of those nights for Preston melodic outfit Failsafe. A dodgy sat-nav takes them to a golf course a few miles wide of the Academy 2 where they’re supposed to be playing tonight, meaning they only manage to get to their destination circa 20-minutes before doors. Not that it’s really any mad rush, with just three people waiting to get in.
Things like these usually tend to work themselves out, and fill up. However, this really wasn’t the case tonight, as at it’s fullest, tonight’s 400 capacity venue is holding around 25 people. Not that this puts off local lads Kids Of ’87, who bring a real rock stomp to the handful of semi-interested punters watching. With a singer that bears a resemblance to the Subways’ Billy Lunn (topless guitarist and all), and all four young men really getting into their performance, it’s fair to say they’re up for it, even if the rest of the crowd aren’t really. Marred somewhat by some slightly weaker soft vocals, this is nonetheless a pretty strong start to tonight’s dim proceedings.
North-East post-hardcore outfit Kaikoura fare slightly better; sounding more like their headliners tonight. The problems continue slightly as a guitar is broken in the first song, but all’s sorted within minutes, and Kaikoura play a very strong set. Screams and singing are traded back and forth very well, and Don’t Be Scared would of had a bigger audience in the palm of Kaikoura’s hands tonight; an excellent sing-along. Unfortunately, it’s not to be. They still get a good reaction, given the shocking turnout for tonight.
There’s only one statement that can really capture Failsafe tonight; criminally underrated. The amount of enthusiasm they show towards a literal handful of people is worthy of some sort of award. Not put off whatsoever by the fact that nobody is even close to the barrier in which they play behind, they run off their songs as though they are playing to a hundred times bigger crowd. It’s not fair to say which songs got a better reaction, because, unfortunately, the best anything got was polite applause, but it’s definitely fair to say everything was played perfectly.
Failsafe are a much stronger and more energetic live band, and it really shows tonight. They pull off songs off new album The Truth Is with a real class; songs like Hope and Only If We Learn with it’s massive chorus really stand out.
Failsafe have really survived a tough night in Newcastle tonight, and they’ve done it with some style. Hopefully, next time more people can bear witness to such a strong performance.