Live Review: Evarose, Veridian, Matchboy & Kaos - O2 Academy Oxford , 04/03/2017
After a few little hiccups within minutes of arrival, I walked up to the upstairs room in the O2 Academy Oxford. I’ve not been to an upstairs show for a while but it always feels like a home from home for me and it’s always one of those venues I love having the privilege to work in. Anyway, walking into the room with a great turnout, after entering to the last 4 songs of the Kaos, the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves.
I’ve seen this band a lot over the years so I’m always excited to catch these guys live every time I get the opportunity. Even though I only managed to catch the last 3 full songs of their set, being able to walk in and see a great turn out in the room was incredible. The Kaos had a great pop punk vibe as always. I remember The Philosophy being released, so hearing the track live again made me feel like it was being back in the room for their 2015 shows. The fans were singing along with them. From the part of the set I caught they absolutely killed it, the set ended with a huge cheer while the lights dimmed. The Kaos are easily one of the better pop punk bands to come out of the Oxfordshire area over the years.
Next up were 4 piece Matchboy, the lights went up and the band entered the stage. Only looking young the boys were ready to rock, the set had a indie rock vibe, which was completely unique compared to the other support acts and definitely seemed more chilled out, however the stage presence they had was still incredible. Their set involved a nice balance of post hardcore and indie style music which worked perfectly with the entire show. Matchboy added in a cover of Everlong by Foo Fighters into the set which left the crowd singing along with them. Every song left the crowd in applause. Knowing the band were only small they still owned the stage like their own, making it obvious that this is a band who know what they want, and have been together a while. I definitely need to check out more tracks of Matchboy, as every song in the set they performed left me more intrigued to what else they have produced.
I don’t tend to fall in love with a band this easily, but my god. If anything Veridian are easily in my top 10 of favourite local bands, I’m not sure if was their similarities to Young Guns or not but whatever the reason I was in awe with these guys. After reentering the room after a short break, I looked up and saw one of the best stage set up’s for a touring band I’d seen in a long time, the had set up LED lights by the keyboardist which looked incredible, I was so mesmerised by how Veridian had made the small stage their own. The up and coming rock band graced the stage with such passion, the 6 piece looked so at home on the stage you couldn’t tell they hadn’t been together just over a year. As soon as the lights went up the band were ready to kick it off, the crowd cheered with such enthusiasm, by this time the room had started to fill and the started to get closer to the barrier. The vocals reminded of a Gustav Wood style and it was so incredible. Every time I turned around another member of the band was running about the stage and the amount of energy they had made it look as though they’d been together as a band a lot longer than they have. Veridian sure as hell knew how to get a crowd involved, whether it was them clapping along to their songs or singing along, there wasn’t a member of the crowd not joining in and it was such a beautiful sight to see and be in the room for. With a few jokes being made partway through the set about the drummer “I think Zack Needs a break” “He’s had too many pies” “Or beers” all you could hear was an “Oi” in response followed by a large amount of laughter from the fans.
The set involved some great guitar riffs, bass lines, beats and group vocals and if this set is anything to go off there is a reason these guys are going to take the UK by storm. Veridian included new tracks from their soon to be released EP 40826D (which can be preordered now) the band performed their newly released song ‘Sleep A Little Better’ and from what I heard, it is safe to say that their EP is going to be an absolute killer. I would definitely advise taking a listen to Veridian if you get the chance because these are going to be big if this set was anything to go by.
After Veridian’s killer set, last to enter the stage were Banbury based all girl rock band Evarose. Now I’ve been wanting to see these for a while but every show I’ve missed out on and realised afterwards so I’m glad I managed to catch them this evening. The entered the stage with a huge roar from the crowd and it was great to see such a big crowd for these girls especially with it being the first night of their headline tour to promote their new album Invisible Monsters. Without a doubt you could tell this was a band who deserve to be on a stage. Evarose gave the set their all, whether that was playing songs from when they first started performing or new tracks from their new album. Every time I looked up from my camera the band would be running about the stage, the energy they presented throughout their set was a sight to see, I was getting a work out from running around the photo pit for them. The set included a variety of insane vocals, guitar and solid bass and either left people moving their heads to the beats or singing their hearts out.
Evarose absolutely owned the stage and there wasn’t any denial that the fans were loving every second they were on. It’s rare seeing an all girl rock band come out of Oxford, but I can see Evarose being one of those bands that will influence a lot of other younger females to start picking up musical instruments in the upcoming years, these girls are certainly a band that know what they want and will work hard to get it. Evarose closed their incredible set with a song from their latest album ‘Provoke me’ with the fans singing along to the very last of the words. As soon as the lights dimmed I heard a few ‘One more song’ ‘We want more’ or ‘Encore’ coming from the crowd. All in all the entire show was absolutely insane to witness and be a part of and I’m sure these girls are going to take the UK by storm on their current tour.
Words and Photography by Heather Lowe