When listening to the new album Hope Downs by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever I can’t help but notice the energy and drive in every song they had, and this was replicated perfectly by the band at their recent gig at Manchester Academy 2. The set was lively from start to end with great guitar interplay throughout, and the energy on the stage immediately transferred to the crowd who were amazingly animated and more than up for a good jump around.
Opening for Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever was six-piece British band Team Picture. It was great to see a lesser known band like Team Picture get so much exposure from supporting a band like Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and they played amazingly and were also great at getting the crowd geared up for what was to come.
Considering lead singer Fran Keaney had lost his voice in Cardiff the night before, it was likely the gig was not going to go perfectly. But with bandmates Joe White and Tom Russo taking over, it was hard to tell anything was the matter. The vocals and harmonies were spot on, and the only clue something had gone awry was the stage format which had Keaney still front and center, but without his leading vocals.
One highlight of the gig had to be when drummer Marcel stage dived into the crowd, managing to do the good part of a loop around the entire venue before being carried back on stage by the hyper crowd. Lead singer Fran stepped in to continue the drums during the stage dive, which once again showed what a genuinely musically talented band they are.
The only criticism I can make of this gig was the set list: I do think the songs could have flowed better together in a different order with more play of the songs on their album Hope Downs, and although French press was a good song to end with, I think it would have made a better encore. However, when you’re listening to such consistently great songs, one really can’t complain about their order of play. There is always a danger that seeing such a talented young band live will not meet the high expectations held, but Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever were genuinely great to see live, and I will definitely be seeing them again.