Review by Nathan Daniel
Opening tonight for Lower Than Atlantis are new to the scene Pvris; not that you would be able to tell seeing them perform. They have made a huge splash over the past year or so, securing a slot on both Warped Tour 2013 and 2014, signing to Rise Records and releasing their debut album. You only need to take a look at their social media followings and YouTube hits to see the waves they’re making online. Judging by their set tonight, albeit short but sweet, it won’t be long until that transfers to their shows. Their fresh rock meets electro sound separates them, not to mention Lynn Gunn’s huge, powerful voice. As Mike Duce puts it whilst on stage with LTA, “they’re going to be massive.”
As for the other two thirds of the bill, this show could be held somewhere in 2010, probably in the same room, to a very similar sort of response. We Are The Ocean have been touring with Lower Than Atlantis since their earlier days and unfortunately, little has changed since the success of both the band’s first couple of releases. Following their initial successes, they’ve both had a period of stagnation in popularity – one that is somewhat unexplained, given their talent as two of the UK’s brightest young rock acts. After selling out venues of Rescue Rooms’ size five years back, neither band have had the easiest time since, but both seem to have had a new breath of life over the past year, gaining traction in popularity.
We Are The Ocean begin with four new tracks; the brilliant and triumphant self-titled track from their forthcoming album Ark, along with three very promising efforts that far surpass the calibre of songs that you would expect to hear from a ‘support band’ in a small venue. Despite which, they receive very little response from what is a densely packed room. Soon after, when they launch into more familiar territory from ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’ and ‘Go Now And Live’, the crowd give some indication that they are actually enjoying themselves. In the presence of a voice like Liam Cromby’s, they bloody well should be doing too. Hearing it ring throughout a room so small is enough to give you goose bumps. A band that continually deserve more recognition; not least for their music, but their sterling live performances too.
A sufficiently warmed up crowd are treated to some Limp Bizkit and Eminem over the PA during the break, before welcoming Lower Than Atlantis to the stage with an abundance of screams and cheers. They have a commanding opening in the form of their latest single ‘Criminal’, which gets the crowd singing along nice and early. Recognising the cliché nature of his role, frontman Mike Duce thanks the crowd with “cheesy frontman thing number one…” For anyone that’s seen LTA before, they will know that his sarcasm and wit are ever-present between songs. Later on into the set, he and the rest of the band leave the stage, only to come back moments later following chants of “LTA! LTA! LTA!” He returns, taking the piss of the generic encore pattern that all artists conform to, despite the fans knowing that there are clearly more songs to be aired. Too true.
The reception of LTA’s first couple of tracks is good, but the fans step it up to the next level following a rendition of the brash and raucous ‘Far Q’. Not only are the sing-alongs louder, but the movement is greater, with mosh pits that open and remain for the majority of the night. They only relent during the likes of ‘Words Don’t Come So Easily’ and the particularly special ‘Another Sad Song’. After a couple of full room ‘happy birthdays’ are sung, Mike steps down into the crowd along with mic and acoustic guitar. He parts the crowd and gets those around him to crouch for the song. The heartfelt and melancholy tune is sung note-perfect, with a generous helping from the Nottingham faithful.
The tranquil acoustic atmosphere lasts only for five minutes, before LTA launch into a ludicrous final two tracks that see 400+ tightly packed fans bouncing in sync and screaming at the top of their voices. If a sold-out tour and an album the standard of last year’s self-titled release don’t scream “big things are ahead” (or at least, really, really should be) I don’t know what does.