Six months ago rising pop punkers Decade played here in Swindon but at a different venue just down the hill, and now they’re back playing here at The Victoria, a venue getting a lot more attention on touring bands over the last year or so. Fresh from appearances at both Hit The Deck sites the boys should be well warmed up for this Wiltshire crowd this evening.
Unknown to many of the early punters here tonight there’s been a late addition to the bill in the form of Heartwork. Heartwork is a one man finger style acoustic act with a penchant for revealing and sombre tunes from the mind of Dan O’Dell. It all seems a little awkward at first watching a middle aged man bare his soul and stories to the 20/30 people in here so far, but with every song comes another tale of life gone wrong and amusing tv references. Every eye is fixated on the singer with every word hitting the audience with Dan’s real life tales of heartache expertly executed. An intimate set to kick off tonight in fascinating fashion.
Next up is the female fronted local heroes All Ears Avow, a band who’s profile is ever growing. With recent news that the band are to drop their debut album this summer helps to draw out the crowd tonight to possibly catch a glimpse of any new material. Coming straight out the gate with ‘Better Off’, from their Home EP, the band look set to leave a lasting impression on this audience and the other bands on the bill tonight. There’s no sign of nerves here as Claire Sutton demonstrates her tremendous pipes that fill the room on brand new single ‘Waiting Games’, the chorus in this song is sooo big it needs it’s own venue to contain it. Drummer Sean Ivens commands his kit with aplomb whilst guitarist Jake Willcock and bassist Joe Bishop bring the ambience and groove to their sound. Plus they’ve got pretty good gurn faces. Finishing up the set is another new track, ‘Tongue Tied’. The vocals float delicately over the upbeat instrumentation before they explode into yet another belter of a chorus. This band prove their worth on a bill like this tonight.
Joining Decade as main support for these shows is Scouts, oh wait no it isn’t, it’s the band Big Nothing, formerly known as Scouts. Hailing from Liverpool these scuzzy rockers waste no time turning up the fuzz and start wailing away at their instruments. It’s easy to hear what they’re influences are as comparisons to Nirvana, Alice in Chains and the Grunge genre in general can be heard in-between songs. You can hear it in between songs as the bands banter is a bit too dry and leaves a lot to be desired. Any who, the noise they emit from the speakers tonight is fantastic, it’s got this dirty 90s vibe throughout it and they appreciate the quality of the guitar solo with pretty much every song containing one. Technical problems break their stride with the sound man here tonight not on form and with the frontman snapping a string just before the end of their set. With the band now containing no original members and a couple changes late last year they still deserve their tour support slot with a high energy and entertaining set.
Now the headliners…Decade. Credit where credit is due after the first couple songs you can tell that all the touring they’ve done since the release of Good Luck has made them a tighter live outfit and into the realm of being a ‘professional’ band. However the crowd are slow to participate and get involved with tonights headliners. ‘Callous’ brings about one of the first great moments of the set as the 5 piece start to make the audience shake and move and get into the festivities. The inclusion of two new songs hypes up the excitement level for the Swindonians in attendance, especially when oddly vocalist Alex Sears brings out a tambourine for new song ‘Daisy May’. More sound problems occur and the bass is far too loud in the mix that with the drums drown out the guitars to a minimal level.
‘I Don’t Care’ is easily one of the bands punkest songs and injects a much needed energy into the set. ‘British Weather’ typically closes out the Bath groups time on stage before they make their way. If you were already a fan of Decade then you probably enjoyed this set as much as the last time you saw them, but they don’t do enough to sway peoples opinion with their songs having a repetitive nature. With that being said its good to see UK talent stepping up across the country and putting in the graft in the smaller towns that don’t see much of the likes of Decade.