Live Review: My Passion – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle, October 20th 2010

It’s great to watch a band grow, both in popularity and musically, and My Passion just happen to be one of those bands. A little over a year-and-a-half ago, the now five-piece were playing the dingy Cooperage on the Quayside and now, having also been a part of the Kerrang! Tour earlier this year, they have packed out the Academy 2.

This is the forth time that Summerlin have supported My Passion in the North East, and yet the Leeds lads still manage to make their sickly sweet pop-punk massively entertaining, as they have the whole room engaged with clap and bounce-a-longs. Although, sometimes cheesy with their synchronised dance moves, you can’t help but smile, as they have this instant connection and likeability, something that a lot of support acts fail to achieve. These guys can definitely go a long way.

In a stark contrast, Swedish metallers Dead By April are up next, and it’s clear that a good portion of tonight’s crowd have soley came for them. It’s an interesting sound, while sometimes delivering the most punishing death metal with Zandro Santiago‘s lethal growls and ball-busting breakdowns, there’s also sounds reminiscent of Linkin Park with Jimmie Strimell‘s more melodic vocals, but it somehow works. Only on for 30-minutes, it does, however, start to get rather samey and monotonous to the untrained ear.

Adorning their trademark monochrome outfits, it’s finally time for tonight’s headliners, My Passion, as former drummer, Jonathan Gaskin, takes to the stage with frontman Laurence René as they trade vocals, really adding something fresh to their live performance. There’s no doubt that Gaskin is tonight’s MVP, not only providing additional vocals, but also lending his talents to the keyboard and guitar, while new drummer Jamie Nicholls effortlessly pounds away in the back, never looking more at home.

In an interesting switch-up, typical set-closer Days of The Bees, is played half way through, with the electro-goth quintet inviting a couple of lucky fans to dance on stage. There’s a lot of new material with the likes of In My Fever and Seven Birds, and set staples Crazy and Me and Thanks For Nothing sounding completely revitalised with the modified line-up.

With My Passion, they perform as a band, it’s not just one frontman giving it his all, every member on stage catches your attention. They don’t just play songs, they put on a proper show and it’s truly staggering how they’re unsigned, as they end with new single Asleep In The Assylum. This band truly deserve every bit of success coming their way.

Faye Turnbull.

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