On one of the hottest nights of the year, you could quite easily say there was an air of funk going around. However personally my funk was coming from the O2 Academy 3 on this boiling day. Awaiting me there was a night full of crazy music from Liberty Lies, Wolf Jaw and the incredible Crobot.
First up - an outing for the local lads, Liberty Lies. A band I've missed a few times as they've hit venues close to me and one I've been eyeing to catch for a while. After popping backstage to chat with Crobot, I headed into the Academy to find the room had filled up at a good pace. And boy did Liberty Lies deserve this. For an opening band at the Academy 3, they took control instantly. Lead singer, Shaun Richards, was completely in his element, encouraging the audience to sing along, climbing onto the barrier and even dealing with a heckler lie a seasoned pro. However the four piece were each a strong part of the performance and the comradery between the band seemed effortless and tight, especially for the first show as a four piece (previously five). With 3 new songs premiering, this support slot is purely the start of what I can imagine is going to be a quick climb up for these guys. An amazing way to start the night and a real highlight came from Shaun playing the guitar live for the first time in 12 years.
Wolf Jaw took to the stage shortly after to a room full of noise. Tom Leighton launched straight into the set and made me take a second look at this band. Previously I have to admit, they didn't drive too good of an impression on me, as a previous show I walked away feeling like there was something off. However any negativity was lifted from my view, as I was soon full of the knarly guitar work, foot stomping bass work and impressive drum lines the trio were serving up. The confidence of all three members seems to have jumped through the roof, with high movement around the stage and great sound. I sadly missed the second half of the set to chat with Liberty Lies, however I am eager to catch Wolf Jaw again soon.
After not being in Birmingham for three years, Crobot were back. The room of 'beardos' exploded as the four members took the stage one by one, finishing with Brandon Yeagley finishing the walk on in his sparkling waistcoat. It's so difficult to put into words how much fun these funk-tastic group can be. The energy each bring to the stage is organic, different and just fully non-stop. After giving us a taste of the upcoming album with 'Keep Me Down' as their third song, both Brandon and Chris took to the crowd for 'La Mano de Lucifer'.
With 'Motherbrain' out this year, it was a night of old classics mixed with 5 (yes FIVE) new songs. But the humor of the night was peaked with the slight covers of both the Ghostbusters theme and Africa (by Toto). Chris Bishop repeatedly showcased his god-like talent with the axe, repeatdly nailing every song, laying out riff after riff and showcasing just what this band is all about behind the outstanding live shows - incredible, funk-fueled, jaw dropping sound mixed with an unmatchable vocal sound coming from the every charming, wall-bouncing and facial-hear aficiado Brandon. Crobot best be coming back again real soon, as only seeing them every three years is a crime.