Real Friends, Grayscale + Belmont at the Electric Ballroom, London

Early on a Friday night fans queue up in Camden to finally see their favourite pop punkers Real Friends and their equally poppy and punky supports Grayscale and Belmont.

Belmont were playing their first show in the UK, and they decided to start off proceedings by going straight for the jugular with their debut album’s first single ‘Hollowed Out’. By the time vocalist Tax Johnson launched into the lyrics of another song they were starting to look more at home on the stage. Maybe they just needed a moment to get into their stride. The crowd seemed more than happy to accept this new band and some were even dancing along. The best part of their set was the song ‘By My Side’, a pop-punk banger if ever you heard one which set the mood for what turned out to be a brilliant night.

Next up were Grayscale, who opened without hesitation into ‘In Violet’ from their recent release and sophomore album Nella Vita. The audience may have had only a few weeks to learn the word but like true pop-punk fans they all appeared to have done exactly that as they sang along. Again they hit them with another new one, not wanting to drop the enthusiasm, they dived headfirst into ‘Baby Blue’ which was much appreciated by all. Not as much though as their older songs, which got a much bigger reception. For example, songs like ‘Fever Dream’ and ‘Atlantic’ coming up on the setlist from their 2017 release Adornment.

By this point, the anticipation could be felt in the air as Real Friends were introduced by an announcer, “Emmanuel Transmission”, a testament to the band’s good humour. They opened the set with the Composure favourite ‘Get By’ and the crowd sang along to that and every other song that followed including ‘Mess’ and ‘I Don’t Love You Any More’. Drummer Brian Blake was particularly on form this evening, really showing off his talent.

Frontman Dan Lambton explained that the band were going to take a deep dive, which they did, starting with the amazing ‘Maybe This Place Is The Same…’ that seemed to really impress the audience. The energy levels in the room were intense, from the stage and the crowd with mosh pits opening up. The band played a lot of older songs too and fans got a real kick out of ‘Late Nights In My Car’… in fact, they kicked off, and went truly mental. After that, the band gave us all a much-needed breather and slowed the tempo right down to play ‘Sixteen’ followed by ‘I’ve Given Up On You’, which gave the room chills and the feels.

Lambton was a delight to behold he made his love of London obvious, without explicitly telling us that we were the best crowd on the tour. Instead, he recalled his last headline show, a memory not easily forgotten. Even the bassist did a little gushing on the mic to thank the fans. This was one appreciative band whose main aim was to please their audience. The band closed withMe First’ and ‘From the Outside’ which injected a shot of energy into the room after that little trip down all-the-feelings lane.

Photos by Imogen Bird.


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