Review: The Blackout – Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh – 22nd January 2013.

With their newly released album ‘Start The Party’ aiming at doing exactly what it says on the tin, it feels like combining this idea with The Blackout’s established live tenacity would be a pretty explosive show to witness. Sadly, the Liquid Rooms really did put a dampener on things, leading to one of the oddest shows we’ve seen in a while.

But more on that later. First, Yorkshire lads Proxies take to the stage. Picture Chad Hogan’s house party (Kevin Bridges fans, you’re missing out) and the need of a hired rock band – something to dance to, rock tinged with synths, and nothing all too destructive. A nice start to the evening, the likes of ‘If I Had A Penny To My Name’, which usually features Sean Smith, proved high points, as well as the smooth inclusion of Blink 182’s ‘I Miss You’ mid-song.

If Hollywood teaches us anything, it’s that no party is a good party unless the police want to shut it down. Sonic Boom Six were a bundle of energy – watching their show at times felt like an exercise video for those who liked excitement and chaos. Unruly, they took heed of sly inclusions, offering a hat tip to Limp Bizkit’s ‘Rollin” mid-track. Speaking of following your dreams regardless of what they were, the band fused hip-hop and rock with an unrelenting edge, mixing harsh sounds and nice messages. Of course, their sampling of KRS One’s ‘Sound of da Police’ helps stretch the party metaphor…

And here is where we’d joke that the best parties are so wild they cause destruction, and say that The Blackout tore the venue apart. Coming on stage to the new banger ‘Start The Party’, the band hit the ground running, showing that their album tracks are best seen in a live capacity. The crowd went wild, the band seemed excitable and simply possessed everything we’ve grown to love about them over the years. This continued for the first seven songs, with the crowd’s voices soaring, the band simply killing it and-

Then, when ‘ShutTheFuckUppercut’ drew to a close, venue staff tell the band they must leave the stage. “Five minutes,” Gavin promised. “We’ll be back.” A leak at the side of the stage was soaking their equipment, so much so the venue deemed it unsafe for them to continue. The show was to be cancelled. Would The Blackout accept this? No! Sean returned to the stage to inform fans they’d continue the rest acoustic in the annexe of the venue.

Through ‘Ambition Is Critical’ to ‘Hope (Scream It Out Loud)’ fans sat nestled snugly as they watched the band put on a pretty great show when everything seemed to be going wrong around them. Ending with ‘Save Our Selves’, “woahs” started towards the end without prompt, continuing past the end of the song like everyone does in normal shows.

So, while we had hoped to bend the review into a party metaphor that would ultimately end in venue destruction, we got it for real. More so, we got that added party element – the impromptu acoustic. Thankfully, those behind the performance were more talented and brilliant than the typical drunk playing Oasis or Green Day, and it was a pretty brilliant show. Come rain or shine – or leaking toilets – The Blackout are still fantastic live.

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