Tonight the Vans Off The Wall tour hits Cardiff with its rowdy line up of Marmozets, Your Demise, We Are The In Crowd and Young Guns. It’s a sold out show, and rightfully so, because it’s a hell of a line up. A slightly strange mixture of heavy, pop and rock, but it all somehow works. First up are Marmozets, whose frontwoman Becca Macintyre actually dislocates her knee onstage. And not only that, but she carries on and delivers a bloody good show. ‘Collision’ is a certified banger, and the fact that such a loud noise can come out of such a small girl never fails to impress.
Your Demise are up next, taking the heavy music baton from Marmozets and smashing up the stage. They come onstage to the sounds of Kanye West with frontman Ed McRae donning a towel on his head, which he proceeds to keep there for the majority of the set. The look might even catch on, who knows? They bounce around the stage playing some massive hits like ‘The Kids We Used To Be…’, ‘Miles Away’ and ‘These Lights’. The crowd bloody love them and it’s just a shame they’re playing fairly low down on the bill.
Next up are New York-based pop punkers We Are The In Crowd, who are quite the contrast to the two heavier British bands before them. When the heavy bands have gone down so well, it’s interesting to see how a bubblegum pop punk band will be received, but surprisingly they go down an absolute storm. Frontwoman Tay Jardine is absolutely tiny and sometimes it’s hard to spot her bobbing around onstage, but for such a small girl she has bucketloads of presence. We Are The In Crowd don’t bring anything incredibly different to the table, but their pop music is pleasant on the ear and the crowd love them, so you can’t complain too much.
And last but definitely not least: tonight’s headliners, Young Guns. Three years ago, Young Guns played to a small handful of people in Cardiff Barfly (RIP), and tonight they’ve sold out Solus, a 2200-capacity venue. There aren’t many bands around who have worked as hard or deserve it as much as Young Guns, so tonight is an absolute pleasure to watch. They open with recent single ‘Dearly Departed’, which sounds flawless, much like the rest of the set. There are some utterly fantastic ‘YG’ lights onstage, that most of the audience would kill to get their hands on.
Although Young Guns always put on a brilliant show, tonight they reach the next level. They have a huge pool of massive tunes to dip into, and they do just that tonight, cracking out ‘Weight Of The World’, ‘Crystal Clear’ and ‘I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surely Die’ all towards the beginning of the set. Midway through, they give the crowd a choice between three tracks from their ‘Mirrors’ EP and the crowd choose ‘There Will Be Rain’, which is absolutely incredible. The only shame about the set is their exclusion of ‘Daughter Of The Sea’, one of their biggest bangers.
They slow things down for a partly acoustic rendition of ‘Learn My Lesson’, followed by a cover of Adele’s ‘Set Fire To The Rain’. Frontman Gustav Wood’s voice sounds spectacular throughout, despite some technical hitches (which none of the audience noticed whatsoever). The band go offstage and then come back on for an encore post-11pm, smashing out both ‘Winter Kiss’ and the absolutely huge ‘Bones’. The crowd singalongs are enough to blow anyone away. Tonight is a gigantic success for Young Guns. They should be proud of themselves.