Kerrang! Tour has been bringing some of the nation’s favourite bands to venues across the country for almost ten years now. Kicking off in 2006 with Bullet For My Valentine, Hawthorne Heights, Still Remains and Aiden, the tour was very much suited to what was popular at the time — much like the 2015 line-up, which brought Don Broco, We Are The In Crowd, Bury Tomorrow and Beartooth, plus special guests Young Guns along for the ride. We headed to Manchester Academy this Valentine’s Day to see how the tour was going!
Beartooth kicked the evening off with a heavy note, much to the delight of the hardcore side of the audience. Due to the differing genres of each band, there was not one particular group of music fans in the crowd, which made for an interesting sight to see. Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo (formerly of Attack! Attack!) captivated the audience during the band’s short set, which included fan favourite tracks such as ‘Beaten in Lips’ and ‘I Have a Problem’.
Bury Tomorrow were up next, taking the reins from the Americans to provide the crowd with some good old fashioned British melodic hardcore. Dani Winter-Bates has an air about him that will have your eyes following him no matter where he goes, which makes him the perfect frontman to be winning over audiences even if they’re not necessarily there for his band. They were only given six songs to conquer, but the quintet proved that it was all they needed delivering some of their catchiest singles. The band have headlined the likes of Academy 2 in Manchester and London’s KOKO, the band definitely seemed to take it in stride and work efficiently with what they were given, which resulted in a generally pleased crowd reaction.
Special guests Young Guns then took to the stage for a three song set in promotion of their upcoming album Ones And Zeros, and its supporting tour which spans over an epic four months. Entertaining the crowd with new single ‘I Want Out’ then older favourites ‘Speaking In Tongues’ and ‘Bones’, it was almost upsetting that they played such a small set when they easily could’ve carried on all night and the audience would’ve likely left more satisfied. Singer Gustav Wood has a Bowie-like quality to him — it’s brought the band this far, and will no doubt see them go further in the future.
We Are The In Crowd were definitely the odd band out with their pop punk tunes amongst all the prior hardcore. Still, they powered on through their direct support set and Tay Jardine deflected the occasional heckle with her powerful vocal delivery of tracks including ‘The Best Thing (That Never Happened)’, ‘Rumor Mill’ and ‘Kiss Me Again’ — which saw the quintet blow up a few years back with it’s guest vocal spot from All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth. Comparing the band’s set to shows where we’ve seen them before, they were a little weak as a whole and it’s undoubtedly true that they could have brought more to the table with their performance. The New Yorkers might have been out of their comfort zone on such a line-up but they did their best to both win over fairweather audience members and entertain those that had come to see them specifically.
Don Broco are one of those British bands that just keep coming back with incredible hit after hit, climbing their way up the music industry ladder to the point where they may one day be slaying the stage at arenas like You Me At Six and Bring Me The Horizon have done before them. While it does seem that the US dominates much of the music market, Britain does have the most incredible exports that not only make fans fall in love at home, but abroad too. Don Broco’s cheeky banter mixed with their impressive repertoire of spectacular rock tunes is enough to have a crowd spellbound by their charm, to the point where everyone in the room seemed to be having a good time even if it wasn’t Don Broco who had brought them out for the evening. The band played their three singles from their debut album Priorities, as well as some album tracks that, despite being lesser known, didn’t stop the most dedicated members of the audience from singing along and getting some movement going in the tightly packed-in crowd.
Photos by Kelly Hamilton.