Live Review: Attack! Attack! – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle, May 2nd 2010

There’s a lot going on tonight in Newcastle. One of those goings on takes the shape of South Welsh rockers Attack! Attack!. Having not played a full headline show themselves here since November 2008, it’s interesting to see how the band have developed. With a new record on the horizon, and a big “SOLD OUT” on the front doors, tonight promises to be one massive party!

With Glasgow’s The Gap Year Riot now unable to make the trip down, Southampton boys Not Advised make a huge impact in kicking off the nights proceedings. Bursting into a flurry of melody and movement, A Red Light Situation starts off the more energy-ridden side of the set. Playing material from their 2009 EP Fight For This, the band sound just as polished in a live setting as they do on record, and it pays off with the crowd, many taking to it with ease. The mood gets somewhat killed with a cover of Jacko classic Man In The Mirror – the band’s own material sounds far stronger than a cover ever could – but there’s no doubt it’s a successful set played to a full house, and it’s paid off well.

Local boys Impulse 11 seem to be playing this venue every other week now, and it’s really paying off; many gathered know their lyrics if only by live setting, and their fun, no-nonsense approach to pop-punk pays off with the crowd. Whilst they still lack the tight professionalism of their counterparts tonight, they know just how to get their target audience pumped, and at the end of the day, it’s the impression a band leaves that’s the most important. Once again throwing in a cover or two, a la Black Eyed Peas, it lightens the mood greatly, and the four-piece warm things up delightfully. It’ll be interesting to see what they can pull off when they headline this venue themselves.

Attack! Attack! have gartered a full house tonight, and unlike the last few times, most in attendance have stayed to watch. Bursting in with Say It To Me, the four-piece drive the room wild, and it’s clear relentless constant touring has really payed off; there’s not a single person in the venue that either a) doesn’t know the words to each track the band play, or b) stand expecting to hear The People’s Elbow or Stick Stickly.

The band debut new tracks tonight; Blood On My Hands appears to be the new From Now On, which promptly follows the former, and sounds like a great, catchy nugget of delight. The Knack get a mention with a joyful My Sharona cover, whilst old hits like This Is A Test and Guitar Hero track You And Me get honourable outings that really capture some buzz. Closer and new single Not Afraid honestly sound so good tonight, (and on record, for that matter) that it blows the band’s older material out of the water. It’s big, it’s delightful, and frontman Neil Starr really goes for it and makes his impressive voice heard.

Attack! Attack! really have pulled a blinder tonight, and look to be getting the credit for it they deserve -and with fellow Welshmen Kids In Glass Houses, along with Kiss and Scouting For Girls playing Newcastle’s University, Arena, and City Hall tonight respectively, Attack! Attack! selling their show out tonight seems to agree whole heartedly.

George Cannings.

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