Apologies, I Have None / Asylum, Birmingham | 15th of December

Apologies, I Have None / Asylum, Birmingham | 15th of December

An Icy Friday night in Hockley provided the gloomy setting for ultra-melancholic punk rockers, Apologies, I Have None as they put on a last-minute show for their tour with fuzzy alt-rock duo, Kamikaze Girls. The Asylum venue filled the bill with local supports in the shape of grunge outfit, Super Lemon Days, and the energetic punk rock sound of the Last Hounds.

First to take to the stage were Super Lemon Days who brought a stoner rock sound with a grunge feel but still had playful guitar melodies. Heavy bass and guitar came through well, but a keyboard/synth player just got lost in all of noise and seemed unnecessary at times. The songs had potential, but it’s hard not to think that the band had a four-chord riff and then utilised their set to jam out said riff. The songs lacked structure and cohesion which lead to a forgetful set, however the overall sound had reason to keep tabs on their upcoming releases.

Last Hounds were next to take to the stage, or floor in the case of the lead singer who used the empty floor space to his advantage. The quintet had a very energetic sound which was apparent from the beginning of their set, bringing a similar feel to that of Heck blended together with Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Some of their songs had rap-style verses with big choruses which had its moments for sure but it can be said that their stand out tracks were the ones labelled ‘new’.

Onto the angst-ridden, alternative, fuzz rock that is Kamikaze Girls. They were the main support act and they sounded great. ‘Seafoam’ is up their as one of my albums of the year and a set like this showcases how good that album is. Kicking off their set with One Young Man into Deathcap instantly had the crowd familiar with their blunt approach to depression, anxiety and haunting stories experienced by lead singer, Lucinda Livingstone.

The final two songs provided the highlights as the direct and open lyrics in KG Goes To The Pub had the crowd going. The fact that that is their most punk-rock and energetic song of the set Kamikaze Girls definitely gained a few fans from their performance. The final song I Don’t Want To Be Sad Forever had the most beautiful of sentiments combined with a wall of noise which from one guitar and a drummer, it was quite impressive.

Headliners, Apologies, I Have None have quite the back catalogue now with their first LP ‘London’ and their follow up and much darker release ‘Pharmacie’. The blend of more upbeat and singalong feel of 2012’s ‘London’ combined with the deeply melancholic work of ‘Pharmacie’ worked really well. Kicking off the sadfest was The 26 which gets the crowd simmering nicely before hitting the room with hefty guitars in the form of Raging Through the Thick and Heavy Darkness of a Bloodlust. ‘Pharmacie’ favourite Wraith slowly brought the mood down further and further.

However, the contrasting banter in between songs snapped me back to reality before the songs themes had chance to bury deep within my skull. Lead singer, Josh McKenzie, had words to say about Kerrang! but all in jest. As he was adjusting his sound, Josh was pointing to the fanbase of the publication saying ‘I’m not fifteen and I don’t like posters’. McKenzie did have trouble with his guitar and pedal board and experienced difficulties to the extent that he stopped the beginning sequence of Love and Medication to say ‘people have paid to see play guitar, I need to sort this out’.

The overall sound from the set dipped in and out, as their style has pensive moments before big raw emotional swellings, it was difficult to master one sound. The quieter passages were drowned out and the bigger instants were ones to remember but the PA system did not play to their strengths. The perfect example came in the form of Everyone Wants to Talk About Mental Health, the slow start transitioned into a big crunching end with screaming vocals that sounded much better. On a positive note the drummer, Joe Roy Watson, sounded fantastic!

Finally ending their set with staple song Sat in Vicky Park which went down a treat amongst the crowd, followed up by A Pharmacy in Paris. The feedback noise that was ever present throughout their set was amped up for their final song which only added to the atmosphere.

Apologies, I Have None are a huge band for the punk scene in the UK. They have huge songs that are depressing and sad but also comforting, they are a band that has had clear progression that can be seen in a set like this. Although they fell victim to the PA, quality always shines through! If you’re looking to feel lugubrious then stop and have listen.

Kamikaze Girls – Setlist

  • One Young Man
  • Deathcap
  • Berlin
  • Stitches
  • -Livingstone unreleased solo-
  • KG go to the Pub
  • I Don’t Want to be Sad Forever

 

Apologies, I Have None – Setlist

  • The 26
  • Raging Through the Thick and Heavy Darkness of a Bloodlust
  • Wraith
  • Love and Medication
  • Concrete Feet
  • Everyone Wants To Talk About Mental Health
  • Long Gone
  • Sat in Vicky Park
  • Pharmacy in Paris

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