Champions, Bournemouth

Kids Can’t Fly and Mimi Soya are two of the most promising upcoming pop punk bands in the UK at the moment and Champions was the last stop on their joint UK tour this month. The bands both originate from the South of England with Kids Can’t Fly emerging from Southampton and Mimi Soya originating in Brighton, which meant that the night had a very local feel to it, despite the obvious talent of the two headliners.

We Start Partys pulled out of the show due to their transport breaking down while travelling, so as a last minute booking, The Bottom Line stepped in to open the night and from the off there were strong pop punk vibes surrounding the venue. The band instantly seemed reminiscent of Blink 182, with American accents despite their UK origin and punk fuelled choruses accompanied by pitch perfect harmonies. A stop start pattern eventually emerged in their songs and thundering drumming complimented the bands faster riffs. A cover of The Spice Girls classic ‘Wannabe’ raised a few smiles and warmed the crowd before they ended with ‘A* In Punk Rock’ which was greeted with a great response. This band has some clear potential and could be the UK’s response to American punk.

After an impressive start, Weymouth based outfit, This Fall took to the stage to provide a heavier atmosphere to the night’s proceedings. Opening with ‘Not Without a Fight’, the band shows their clear love for long striking chords and sharp screams accompanying front man Jamiee’s soaring vocal ability with pitch perfect execution even when facing the long notes.

The band seems very well rehearsed as their delay soaked riffs echo round the venue to create a sound which I have not seen replicated by many bands. A few new tracks from the bands upcoming EP, ‘Mechanical Hearts’ show more versatility to their sound following their first EP, Spitting Feathers with more patterns of building up their songs into heavier breakdowns, with more screaming from guitarist Tom and a similar style of vocal patterns to Deaf Havana. The bands first single from Spitting Feathers, ‘Ellen Austin’ received a great response as well as the remaining new songs from the band. Finishing on ‘Gratitude’, it is clear that there are big things ahead for a band of the calibre of This Fall.

Next up is Mimi Soya, a pop punk band from Brighton who have the getup of an early Paramore and like Paramore; they are a four piece band made up of three guys and front girl, Jorja who shares Hayley Williams’ flaring red hair colour and also her vocal ability. Bursting into ‘Front Page News’, a pop fuelled sound is met with punk guitar riffs to give a very ear friendly sound without losing the edginess of their pop punk anthems. Songs such as the bands first single ‘Millionaire’ and ‘Doctor! Doctor!’ from their latest EP receive a good response from the crowd and Jorja effortlessly flaunts her vocal ability and subtle flair with the audience. The band’s latest single; ‘I Told You So’ ends their set on a high note, featuring vocals from guitarist Chris, which perhaps should have featured more because he also had a great voice. It’s obvious the band have buckets of talent between them, a loyal fan base across the UK, a lot of respect from other bands and I am sure most people will agree that they are much more than just a Paramore tribute band.

Recently, Kids Can’t Fly lost four of their six members and front man Robin and saxophonist Dave were left to pick up the pieces. Soon after, they announced their UK tour with Mimi Soya and three new members took to the spot light. I have to admit it took me a few minutes to get over the old members not being on stage but it was obvious that the new line-up was just as fired up and ready to perform to their maximum capacity. Opening with former single ‘Everyone’ which was number one in the ‘Scuzz Most Requested Show’ showcased the bands unique style of pop punk with horns which saw saxophonist Dave accompanying the heavy guitar riffs, yet there was no hint of ska in this song through their one man horn section.

Tracks from their first EP ‘Strength In Numbers’ such as ‘15th Time’ and ‘The Summer’ added more subtle qualities to their set through more relaxed tones which eventually burst into punk guitar riffs to cling onto the bands continual catchy choruses, and a cover of Katy Perry’s ‘California Girls’ saw Mimi Soya member Jorja joining the band on stage to sing the chorus and an impressive take on the song saw high notes hit as front man Robin’s smile continued to become wider. A fantastic response to their set was only the beginning as the band smashed through their upcoming single ‘Heartstrong’ and latest single ‘She Called Shotgun’ which had the room singing along and prompts the thought that with a set list of this quality, could Kids Can’t Fly be one of the best unsigned bands in the country? Especially considering the difficulties they have encountered due to departures from the band. A quality band, a quality set and a quality tour will only encourage them to take things even further with their successful career as a band so far.

Set Lists
Kids Can’t Fly
Vicious Circle
Tune In
The Summer
15th Time
California Girls (Cover)
She Called Shotgun

Mimi Soya
Front Page News
I Have to Return Some Video Tapes
Raising the bar (and hell)
Doctor! Doctor!
I Told You So

This Fall
Not Without A Fight
All That I Am
Too Close To Home
Ellen Austin
The Escape
Man Behind A Mask
Spitting Feathers

The Bottom Line
7 Weeks
(if this is goodbye) The TV’s Mine
New Song (Untitled)
Wanna Be (spice girls cover)
A* In Punk Rock

Pictures taken from respective bands web-pages.

Words by;
George Fullerton

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