The Blackout + The Guns + Middle Finger Salute

posted 1 Sep 2009, 06:05 by Harry Cooke   [ updated 1 Sep 2009, 06:19 ]

28th August 2009

Fibbers, York 

Blackburn youngsters 
Middle Finger Salute had the unenviable task of opening up the night to a largely emo crowd who were charged with youthful impatience for headline band The Blackout- whose presence was undoubtedly the reason the show had completely sold out. Receiving only a mediocre response to their quintessential 1-2-3 punk sound, Middle Finger Salute repeatedly tried to ignite the crowd, employing some rather bizarre tactics. ‘Tell us we are fucking shit’ singer Calum Sutton ordered, shortly before playing a song with a chorus of ‘We are Middle Finger Salute/ We are fucking shit’ The crowd dutifully responded by shouting it right back at them.


Next up was Welsh four piece The Guns. They played a set of good ol’ rock n roll, featuring some seriously heavy bass lines, as well as powerful vocals from singer Alex Wiltshire who was kind enough to give me an interview after the show. During the set, the band paused to give a generous shout out to the security staff, sound guys and everyone who inhabits those invisible roles which we often take for granted at gigs. The Guns played one slower song in the middle of the set, which reminded me of an early Incubusand although it showed some diversity within their style, it did seem a little jarring. Their closing song signified a return to the rock n roll energy that they opened their set with and even got the audience clapping along.


Finally it was time for headliners The Blackout to show to show York how it’s really done. Their use of simultaneous screamo vocals, set against melodic, emotionally driven singing created a sound reminiscent of AFI’s Davey Havok. Pretty boy singer Sean Smith, exuded sex appeal from the moment he stepped out on stage. With his bleached blonde, emo haircut, tight jeans and cheeky between song banter he is clearly the kind of guy that was just destined to be a frontman. 


The crowd, infected by the hardcore energy of "Children of the Night" finally erupted into a ‘real’ mosh pit, not a sight that I saw much of during the night. Still, the average age of the attendees was around fifteen, and the ratio of girls to boys was somewhat uneven, largely due to the band’s eye-candy potential, which probably explains the crowd’s reserved attitudes to rocking out in the moshBased on the screaming and shouting which punctuated the pauses between songs, coupled with the strobe effect created by all the camera flashes, York’s appreciation for The Blackout cannot be disputed.


After witnessing the positive reaction to their heavier songs from the audience, The Blackout decided to exercise some of their power, ordering everyone to kneel down during Radio One’s former Weekend Anthem "Save Our Selves". Now, I have seen this done twice by Slipknot, albeit on a much bigger scale, but tonight was the first time I have seen every member of the audience adhere to the request. The youngsters in the crowd did their best to ‘Jump the fuck up and make as much noise as possible’ when instructed, and at least eighty per cent of the people there joined in with the whoa-whoa-whoa at the end of the song.


I was lucky enough to meet the guys after the show and can honestly say that paedophile jokes and overt sexual innuendo aside, they were open, chatty and totally grounded. Based on tonight’s performance, The Blackout are clearly set for serious rock-stardom, so it remains to be seen whether they will be able to maintain this level of humility as their success and status soars.

Buy The Blackout - The Best in Town



Vicky Miller

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