iBar, Bournemouth

Walking to iBar, I have to stop and actually think about what I’m seeing. There is a queue going out the door of the intimate venue which can’t help probe the thought that Not Advised are certainly moving up in the world, as most of the dates on their latest tour sold out at venues which are twice the size of iBar. On a frantic Friday, there’s nothing like a pop punk gig to get you in the mood for the weekend and the venue was packed to the capacity as a final push of, on the door sales saw the show sell out.

The Dorset and Hampshire music scene has recently seen a rise in the number of female led pop punk bands, looking to live up to the success of female led giants such as Paramore and Evanescence. I Met Nature are up first and with the iBar basement stuffed with expectant spectators, the band breaks into their set with a surge of big chords and thundering drums creating a very surreal pop punk atmosphere. The band clearly wanted to test the PA system as they blasted out every note with their effort literally dripping off their faces. Sadly I have to say their performance did lack a bit of intricate detail as they seemed to be looking for more of a generalised sound, but there were strokes of genius particularly in fan favourite ‘Miles Apart’ which has a guitar riff that even Slash would be proud of. It wasn’t all a rush for the band as there were moments in particular where the instrumentals died down to reveal singer, Nicole’s mesmerising vocal ability.

After an impressive, yet slightly lacklustre performance from I Met Nature, Checking Pulse took to the stage and after seeing them support Hadouken at Chords in October, I expected big things after their impressive performance last time round. The room remained packed, but now there seemed to be more of a charged atmosphere as a clear fan base started cheering for the band to start. The first thing I notice is the way the band incorporate backing tracks into their songs, with a mixture of build ups as well as synth sections in the chorus. This worked a treat and accompanied the bands pop rock styling. Front girl, Emily seemed to love every minute of the bands set and used a fascinating auto tune style vocal effect in the choruses which enriched the pop fuelled anthems the band were looking to play. I have a strong disagreement with the obsession for most recordings being ‘tweaked’ vocally but Emily has a fantastic voice and it was clear she was using it for effect and not a way to cheat imperfection.

The clock strikes ten and Not Advised walk on stage to the joy of their strong fan base. As soon as opener ‘The Winner’ starts, the crowd explode into a circle pit, the size of the room with fans singing while being thrown around the room. Instantly, it’s clear that this band has a very high energy feel to their songs as front man, Jack Fairbrother orchestrates his fleet of sweaty fans to sing along and get involved. In my opinion, Jack has the ideal voice for a pop punk outfit and he manages to hit every note to perfection as the crowd get more and more involved with most of the crowd singing the lyrics loud enough to match the PA. ‘The A.R.K’ proved to also be a crowd favourite as the energy continued to surge through the overflowing IBar crowd.

One problem that most bands face is when they have to play their new material, but in Not Advised’s case, this was no problem as the crowd still loved ‘All I Need’ from the bands upcoming full length album and despite the lack of mosh pits for this song, it was obvious that the crowd were getting to know the bands new songs. It was clear that the involvement of the crowd meant a lot to the band as they played a stripped down version of ‘A Red Light Situation’, which they claimed was meant to be played for the last time at their show in Southampton recently. Another new song called ‘Good News’ also had a very positive response, but it was the bands current single, ‘Right Now’ which stole the show and sent the crowd into a state of ecstasy as their set came to a close with ‘Jane Says Left’.

After their performance, I can confidently say that along with the likes of Kids Can’t Fly and Mimi Soya, the South can be very excited about its upcoming pop punk bands.

Set List
Not Advised
The Winner
The A.R.K
All I Need
The Hope Killed The Hype
A Red Light Situation (Stripped Down Version)
Good News
Right Now
Jane Says Left

7 Years Bad Luck
This Game
Written In The Stars (Tinie Tempah Cover)
Best Girl

I Met Nature
Take My Hand
Something About Lions
Eye Of A Storm
Ed Baker
Miles Away
A Long Goodbye


Words and Pictures by;
George Fullerton

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace