Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

Philadelphia pop punksters The Wonder Years are making this stop in Portsmouth part way through their 1st headline UK Tour after a few previous trips across the Atlantic to perform on the Relentless Kerrang Tour with Good Charlotte and a tour with “Four Year Strong” which included a memorable show here at the Wedgewood Rooms. The Band are currently riding on crest of a wave with their recently released album Suburbia: I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing the follow up to their 2010 release “The Upsides”. The bands hectic schedule includes requests for high profile interviews from UK music magazines Kerrang and Rock Sound.

Wedgewood Rooms: Such Gold

Gallery: 12

They have brought fellow Americans “Such Gold” and “Valencia” with them to open the show, “Such Gold” are given the opening slot and do their best to whip up the crowd and the band seemed very humbled that there are quite a few audience members who see to know their material. Lead singer Ben Kotin gets a shout of from the very responsive crowd for “The Greatest Comeback of all Time” and the crowd are rewarded with energetic performance that certainly show that the opening band have a point to prove.

Wedgewood Rooms: Valencia

Gallery: 12

Valencia are next up and arrive on stage with the confidence of a band that have been around since 2003, performing a selection songs from their 1st three albums including the excellently catchy “Dancing with a Ghost” and the emotional “Still Need You Around (Lost Without You)” which was dedicated to lead vocalist Shane Henderson’s Mother a very brave survivor of breast cancer. Valencia can be described as punk pop with a heart and there appears to be a lot of hurt within their lyrics, which against all odds they seem to be turned into highly positive uplifting creations. The set ends with The Wonder Years front man Dan “Soupy” Campbell arriving on the stage to share the vocals with Shane on the band’s final number giving the set a thrilling and exciting conclusion.

After the 1st two great bands warming up tonight’s audience The Wonder Years took to the stage and effortlessly created a special atmosphere performing a with a great sense of occasion and despite being part way through a long tour the show seemed fresh and full of energy. The band fed off the infectious enthusiasm coming from the audience and went through a host of great tracks spanning their career with Soupy enjoying himself so much he skipped two tracks on the planned set list much to the amusement of the rest of the band.

Wedgewood Rooms: The Wonder Years

Gallery: 12

A special rarely played live song ‘I Won’t Say The Lords Prayer’ was performed tonight as a response from many fans requesting it on Twitter, it apparently was only rehearsed during the sound-check and despite this the band delivered a virtually near perfect version, much to the delight of everyone. The set ended with the two lead singers Ben and Shane from the support bands joining The Wonder Years on stage for the final number the appropriate ‘All My Friends Are In Bar Bands’ , with smiles all round it was obvious that everyone up on stage were having so much fun and enjoying ever minute of the performance. As the crowd surfers started to rain down on to the waiting security men at the front the band left the stage to plenty of adulation from the delighted fans, despite only being a Monday night this felt like the weekend had started already. If The Wonder Years continue with performance like this I am sure we can expect to see much more of them here in the UK.

The Wonder Years Set-List
Came Out Swinging
Logan Circle
Everything I Own Fits in This Back Pack
Dynamite Shovel
Local Man Ruins Everything
Don’t Let Me Cave In
Melrose Diner
My Last Semester
Woke Up Older
I Won’t Say The Lords Prayer
Hoodie Weather
Washington Square Park
You’re Not Salinger. Get Over It
All My Friends Are In Bar Bands

The Wonder Years


Such Gold


Review and video by Dave Chinery(Chinners)
Pictures by Alex Prospect Cook

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