Live Review: Broadway Calls – The Fighting Cocks, Kingston Upon Thames, 5th September 2009

Broadway_CallsNo-nonsense punk rockers Broadway Calls are back in Kingston to headline for the third time and here for the first time following the release of their critically-acclaimed new album Good Views, Bad News, making this a night most definitely not to be missed.

The night starts off promising with Birmingham’s All or Nothing as they play their energetically slick and punchy pop-punk with a dabble of double bass – in the vein of bands such as Four Year Strong, except not as gimmicky – including tracks from their debut EP Is Pretty Hot Right Now, such as A Day At The Stadium and Freeze For The Shot, as well as I’m Not Being Rude, But I Could Have Had Your Job from their recent split with The Wonder Years. A couple of new and soon to-be-recorded tunes are thrown in too, showing a lot of potential; always a pleasure to see live.

Up next are gruff punks The Don Ramos Players who obviously draw influences from the likes of Hot Water Music with John Wright’s raw and intensely powerful, gravelly vocals. Impressively, this only being their second live show in a while, the band are as tight as ever, even with a stand-in drummer, playing songs from their self-titled, featuring All Cats Are Grey and Inkjets & Toners, and closing with Over, Under, Sideways. In between songs, the band engage everyone with their comically drunk and dry sense of humour, sometimes taking over the set, but no one is complaining, as smiles are left on the faces of all.

Finally, it’s time for Broadway Calls to take to the stage to show off their rough-around-the-edges pop-punk, blasting straight into two new tunes, Basement Royalty and To The Sheets, from new album Good Views, Bad News, both receiving a vivacious response of mass sing-a-longs, much to the surprise of the band.

Fresh from supporting The Offspring and playing Reading and Leeds Festivals, it’s clear that intimate settings like the 150-capacity of The Fighting Cocks is where Broadway Calls feel most at home, as they sweat away playing song-after-song, including set staples and favourites Bad Intentions and Back To Oregon, typically keeping banter to a minimum. They also delve further back into their back-catalogue playing The Freedom Haters, from their debut release, Call The Medic, dedicated to one lucky person named Faye in attendance…

After breaking the set up with their Kid Dynamite cover of Cheap Shot Youth Anthem, the Oregon trio proceed to shoot through their own material with a decent mix of tracks, keeping the hundred or so squeezed in the Cocks satisfied. Songs such as the socio-politically conscious new single, Be All That You Can’t Be, get just as much of a reaction as those from their 2007 self-titled, such as Call It Off, setting off the odd crowd surfer, to the delight of bassist Matt Koenig, thanking the Kingston crowd for the best show of the tour.

A set full of rampant energy, undeniable heart, honest music and sing-a-longs galore, a clear contender for the most fun show of the year, for this reviewer.

Faye Turnbull.

Keep checking back, as we’ll be posting our brand new interview with Broadway Calls very soon!

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