Live Review: Go:Audio – O2 Academy, Newcastle, October 5th 2009

GoAudioIt seems like this band never stop coming back up north; once again, teenie kings Go:Audio make their way back to Newcastle Academy, and although the lineup is stronger than last time, there’s considerably less people queued up with obligatory blankets, banners and posters as you’d expect. Still, the hardcore elite turn out in their masses, and that’s the most important part, right?

Pop-punk tykes Twenty Twenty make sure the night starts with a bang. Already becoming quite a name themselves, a vast majority of the crowd already know their songs, and the trio really play to impress. They sound a lot better on a bigger stage, and seem comfortable playing to the masses. Tracks like Story Of Our Lives ensure mosh erupts throughout; surprising from a band like this – usually directed towards the more gentle types. They sound impressive tonight, very well put together and make a hell of a racket for three young lads. Fitting to start off a bill like this, Twenty Twenty do it well, and make sure tonight’s proceedings get off in the right way.

St. Albans synth-rockers Saving Aimee have only been officially added to this bill for around 23-hours, standing in for Soft Toy Emergency, but word’s gotten around fast that the sextet are playing tonight, and the kids are out in droves to see them. While tracks like dancey, synthesizer-ridden new single Fresh Since ’88 and the ever-catchy We’re The Good Guys go down a storm with a youthful crowd that’s chock full of energy tonight, the band are surprisingly sloppy, their music not having the extra kick it usually has, and semi-clothed vocalist Luke Quinn sounds quite off. That said, closer Small Talk (complete with its cult-status guitar solo) gets the tables turning; more mosh erupts around the security trying to calm the crowd down into nothing, and Saving Aimee scrape off a great response; one which it could be argued they scarcely deserve tonight, unfortunately.

South Wales’ Attack! Attack! prove time and time again they’re more than your average pop-rock band. Tonight is no exception; while they start things off in a more unconventional way, opting for new and unrecorded track No Excuses, it none the less sends the crowd absolutely apeshit.

Confined to a lowly six-song set, the quartet blast out hits from their album, including their very own Guitar Hero 5 track You And Me, its badaba’s going down a storm with the responsive clutter of fans intent on screaming back every lyric. Major kudos tonight goes to bassist Will Davies, his skill is unreal; it’s not your ordinary basslines, and it really carries the band’s sound. As always, the band appeal to younger and older fans alike, and their set definitely carries well, if there’s any decency in the world, it’ll only be a matter of time before Attack! Attack! headline this room themselves.

The problem with touring a bigger tour than a tour as big as you can do already, both on the back of one album, is that crowds can tend to get bored. In Go:Audio‘s case, this is shown as a prime example by the fact that the balcony has been sealed off, and there’s not nearly as many people as their show in the same venue only last March.

Predictable band, predictable set list; bursting into their gooey, sticky synth-pop, So Quiet You Were tugs at the eardrums like a child tugs it’s mother for ice cream. Still, the hardcore elite seem to love it, maybe they’re naive and will come and see the band again, and again, and again, to hear the same songs. It’s not all gloom, however; frontman James Matthews sounds a lot stronger vocally than last time, and a lot of the songs sound a lot more polished – it’s a pity they’re a bit lame to begin with.

The arrival of new tracks like Smoke and Mirrors, and Lies provide ample enjoyment, but it all seems a bit too stale. People still jump, move about, but not with the same enthusiasm that greeted Go:Audio the last time around. While closer Made Up Stories still goes down as a real hit with the crowd, being a one trick pony can only work for Electric Six. (And let’s face it, even they had two songs everyone knows.)

Performance wise, it’s spot on the mark, but the band really need to step up a gear and stop playing the same boring set list time and time again; Birmingham Academy getting downgraded from circa 3000 capacity to just under 600 speaks for itself – Go:Audio have established themselves as a big time band, now they need to back it up and keep it afloat, or time will most certainly run out.

George Cannings.

Keep an eye out for our interview with Attack! Attack! coming soon!

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