Last night saw the album launch show for Shadows Like Strangers’ debut album Cali. They managed to sell out The Angel in Nottingham with support from Cut the Heroics and Jetlines, whilst also raising money for GRL PWR- a charity in aid of ovarian cancer.
I had never attended a gig in The Angel before and the venue itself was very interesting. They’ve cleverly converted an old chapel above the pub into a music venue with a capacity of 110, using the old area for the organ as the sound and lighting rig, with the old organ hanging from the ceiling in the corner.
Walking in, there were 150 black and green balloons hanging from the ceiling in a net which apparently took a while to inflate and sort out earlier that afternoon according to Jez, lead singer of Shadows Like Strangers. They’ve all been really pleased with the response to their album and really excited for the show., although Jez did seem a little bit nervous as he kept darting back and forth through the crowd trying to ensure everything was going to plan and everybody was happy.
Starting the night off were pop-punk rock four-piece, Cut the Heroics, from Nottingham. The local band played a decent set with a slightly Blink-182 feel to it but with a bit more added rock, and the crowd seemed to enjoy the show. Lead singer Joe told us that they had to use a stand-in drummer for this performance that was all very late notice, but it went smoothly with the only hiccup from Joe himself when he forgot the name of Shadows Like Strangers in his thank you speech. With a bit more practice and maybe just a little extra something to make them stand out from the abundance of pop-punk rock bands in the Nottingham music scene at the moment, they have potential to go further.
Cut the Heroics
Next up were Jetlines who played a selection of atmospheric, chilled out songs. The three-piece have only been playing since last summer but they’ve already appeared at Y Not Festival and have the support of Dean Jackson along with BBC Introducing East Midlands. The group acknowledged the fact that their music was “bringing it down a bit before Shadows Like Strangers” and later they also said they should have opened the show instead, but the trio have talent and that was definitely appreciated by the audience all the same. A particular favourite was their penultimate song ‘Parachute’ which had a lot of depth and power to it. They’re playing a London show next week and there’s talks of introducing a bassist or switching lead singer Jess to bass and recruiting a new piano player so as to add an extra layer to their music.
With a brief interlude for a raffle draw hosted by Jez and Paul from Shadows Like Strangers which featured some entertaining moments and some wonderful prizes all in aid of GRL PWR, it was finally time for the headline act. It was an odd feel having a raffle draw halfway through a gig so the crowd didn’t feel entirely warmed up as they would have done without the break, but they were still eager to see the headliners.
Shadows Like Strangers- Photographer Unknown
Shadows Like Strangers opened with ‘Counterpart’ which started the set strong and immediately drove the energy up. Strangely, the crowd seemed to have thinned a little. but the remaining audience were really enthusiastic and getting involved with the performance, clapping and singing along. They performed other favourites from the album including ‘Dead Happy’ and their latest single ‘The Art of Falling Down’ which were well received by the crowd. The balloons also went down well and got the audience moving and hitting them around.
Finishing the set with ‘Coast to Coast’, the boys walked off to a large round of applause and were happy to then come down and chat to friends and fans and thank them all for coming. The set was high energy throughout and although at points some of the vocals weren’t perfect, there’s definitely potential for these guys to be playing larger venues. I would expect to see them playing more support slots in the future to further boost their fan base and experience, and if they do I would recommend people going down to see them if they get a chance.