Live Review: Circa Waves - O2 Academy, Oxford 25/03/2017
As I arrived at the Oxford O2 Academy this evening, I was greeted by a mile long queue going round the corner, with eager fans wanting to be at the front so badly they had been there all day with blankets and enough rations to feed an army! Circa Waves were being put on a high pedestal, so I was extremely excited to see what they had in store for the people of Oxford.
First on were, indie-Londoner’s INHEAVEN who were greeted by screams of joy from the crowd! Starting off with ‘All There Is’ & ‘Baby’s Alright’ made the crowd go wild, with pits being opened up all over the venue, before smashing into their latest release ‘Treats’ which received probably the most noise of all the songs they played. Listening to INHEAVEN tonight I felt like I knew every song, they sound like a band that has been around for 20 years, with distinct 80s/90s vibes being emitted from the speakers.
Tonight’s second offering were Brighton geek-rockers The Magic Gang, who I could have confused with being the headliner the response they got when they swaggered onto stage. Not messing around, they smoothly glided into ‘Lady, Please’ from the bands 1st EP which of course got a humongous roar from the ladies of the audience as they swooned over singer Jack Kaye. The set was littered with great songs like ‘Jasmine’ and ‘How Can I Compete’, but nothing was more well received that the fan favourite ‘All This Way’. The Magic Gang have come so far already without even releasing a debut album, so I know for sure they will be dominating the scene once they get around to releasing that.
As the room went dark, the screen at the back of the stage started to glow with the infamous eyeballs from Circa Waves newest album Different Creatures, screams erupted from the by now packed crowd as Circa Waves entered the stage.
No time was wasted as the notable guitar riffs of ‘Wake Up’ blasted out of the speakers, with frontman Kieran Shudall staring out at the sea of people with wide eyes! His distinct vocals fitting seamlessly throughout the track, not missing a word or chord! Circa Waves had a pretty sizeable set of 16 songs, playing tunes from the new album like ‘Goodbye’ & ‘Stuck’ as well as a few fan favourites from 2015’s debut Young Chasers like ‘Fossils’ which went down with the crowd like a tea and biscuit after work, wanting more!
A short break before boys came back on stage for a huge encore, which consisted of my personal fav ‘Fire That Burns’ which blew the roof of the O2 Academy; finally closing their impressive set with everyone’s number 1 song ‘T-shirt Weather’. It definitely was “t-shirt weather” for the entire encore as every person I saw was sweating from the heat and moshing happening all around.
A very successful performance for the Circa Waves guys, hopefully they don’t take too long to make their way back to the city of Oxford for another belter of a show!
Words and Photography by Joe Dick