Exeter rockers I Divide (★★★★) kick the night off with an impressively energetic set and the equally energetic crowd help make it an enjoyable 30 minutes for all. Working through an engaging showcase of songs from debut album Last One Standing they command the stage – and in the case of lead guitarist Henry Selly – the entirety of the venue during Burning Out. It’s refreshing to see an opener that’s not too desperate to win the crowd: they’re confident that that’ll come in time and, if their set is anything to go by, they’re absolutely right.
Fort Hope (★★★) are up next, and after a few technical difficulties for bassist Simon Rowland during I’m on Fire they find their feet. Working their way through a steady stream of tracks from upcoming debut album Courage, they even mix up the lyrics of single Control for the Glasgow crowd.
Headliners Blitz Kids (★★★★) take to the stage and it’s evident that they’re a little apprehensive about tonight’s show. The last time they headlined Cathouse – some 3 and a half years ago – only a dozen or so people made it through the winter blizzard engulfing much of the central belt. It was a difficult week for bands whether they made it to Scotland or not (who can forget the #blameYG debacle?), and it hit some of the smaller bands hardest. Since then, however they’ve enjoyed successful support slots for the likes of Tonight Alive, Mayday Parade and short-lived post-hardcore supergroup D.R.U.G.S, so they’re more than ready to break the Cathouse curse.
And they do, in spectacular fashion.
Opening the set with All I Want, the band throw themselves into the show 110% bounding around the intimate stage with frontman Joe James regularly reaching out for the hands of the emotional front row fans as though he can’t quite believe they’re really here to see this quartet from Nantwich.
The set stays focused on tracks from The Good Youth including singles Sometimes, Run for Cover, the motto-infused Keep Swinging, and never before played b-side Disaster Chapters. While their set is incredibly well received, it’s a little disappointing that there’s no pre- 2012 EP Never Die within it – especially after the promise that this tour would bring songs that hadn’t been played in over a year.
Regardless the crowd love it, and they end on a high with On My Own. Then, as the band depart the stage, just when you think it couldn’t get any better Frozen’s Let It Go begins over the sound system. Good to know this band don’t take themselves too seriously.