Where: KOKO, London
It’s an unusual choice for tonight’s soft pop-rock headliners to have raw pop-punk band ROAM as their opening act- but it’s one we’re not complaining about! Since touring alongside Sum 41 on the Kerrang! Tour, announcing their place at Slam Dunk Festival and revealing a support slot with Simple Plan, these fresh-faced lads represent the brand new pulse of British pop-punk and, as a result, we expect them to be a bit too rowdy for this crowd. How wrong we were! Of course, as we thought, acoustic number ‘Tracks’ suits the night well; but even spunkier tracks such as ‘Head Rush’ and ‘Warning Sign’ go down a treat. Finishing off with a backflip to the lead single from their debut album ‘Deadweight’, tonight has definitely seen a few sweet, innocent pop fans fall in love with this bunch of pop-punk kids from Eastbourne.
Against The Current
New York pop-rock band Against The Current are exploding all over the place right now; they hit arenas up and down the country earlier this year with All Time Low and now, before releasing their debut album, they’ve scored a headline show at Camden’s KOKO. With their humble US charm, guilt-free pop and unbeatable charisma, it’s not surprising that the UK have taken Against The Current into their hearts.
It’s always brilliant to see any small band succeed, but what makes it all the more exciting with Against The Current is that we are introduced to another front-woman making waves in the alternative industry. Vocalist Chrissy Costanza is a hell of a lot more than a pretty face, and that becomes an undeniable fact when hearing her performance tonight. Her pitch never falters and, in the beautiful ‘Dreaming Alone’, her voice shows an effortless delicacy that any singer would envy. But she’s certainly no wallflower; in upbeat anthem ‘Outsiders’ she brings the crowd together with her unflappable enthusiasm, and shows her cheeky attitude with brand new song ‘Forget Me Now’. We see everything she has to give as a front-woman tonight, and it’s both admirable and inspiring.
However, don’t think of Against The Current as a soft, feminine band that just play vacant, sugary-sweet pop- that would be a terrible, terrible mistake. This band pack way more of a punch than that, and tonight proves it with a setlist full of cool, edgy pop-rock hits for us to indulge in without feeling even an ounce of guilt. ‘Talk’, for example, is one big middle-finger of a song that you can throw yourself into, while the riff of ‘Paralyzed’ is so dirty it’s almost R rated! Even poppier new single ‘Running With the Wild Things’ is more endearing than cheesy, and it shows how Against The Current really are a pop-ROCK band.
After an encore of fan favourite ‘Gravity’- again, sung gorgeously despite a cracking throat at this point- Against The Current bid the UK farewell. But we sincerely hope they don’t leave us for too long, because we’re sure to need a swift injection of fun again soon and Against The Current are just the band to hit us with it!