The Movelife @ Academy 2
OK, I get this gig was a big nostalgia trip for a lot of people. Not for me, I mean The Movielife haven’t been around since 2003. I was 11 years old when they finished, I was only listening to my Mum and Dad’s music collection at the time. So mostly The Eagles, Alabama & Johnny Cash. So it’s safe to say the punk of the early 2000’s passed me by. Yet, looking through their history I got into their stuff pretty quick. It’s quite probable that this band inspired a lot of my punk favourites today. Then I heard that one of my favourite up and comers, Gnarwolves, were supporting. This definitely got me excited. So how was the night?
Apologies, I Have None
A pretty fun band, but choppy here and there. I understand what they were trying to sound like, but I’m not sure they achieved it in full. They were melodic and have some well constructed tunes that were fun. Yet, there stage presentation was quite sloppy. Also, I wasn’t a fan of the vocals, they just weren’t up to par. At least they were quite self-aware of their musical stylings. They admitted that a lot of their songs were pretty sappy and yeah they were. They sounded pretty watered down, with some moments of life here and there. I will say this, I appreciated their creativity. There were just certain moments that stood out to me. Like the lead guitarist putting his guitar down and just messing with his pedal board like some bizzaro DJ. Also, using an electric drill to make weird noises on the guitar. So yeah, they impressed me with their creativity, but I can’t say I loved this set. They were OK and a decent opener, but nothing I haven’t heard before. They were fun and I think with some work they could be awesome.
I’ve been a fan for quite some time and every time I’ve seen them, they have been awesome. Well once again, they freaking killed it. Opening on the anthemic ‘Bottle to Bottle’ they just burst into their set. They had a great presence and they were as tight as anything. I mean beat for beat, Gnarwolves just completely sold themselves. With brilliant hits like ‘Smoking Kills’ and ‘Melody Has Big Plans’ they just filled the room with energy and fun. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was the crowd. The last couple of times I’ve seen them, people have gone crazy. Yet, everyone was pretty subdued, I just wanted to start a pit myself, just get some energy going. The vocals of Thom Weeks and Charlie Piper are just fantastic and completely on point. Whilst the drumming from Max Weeks was amazing. From the slow & steady paced tunes, to the out of control (yet, weirdly in control) heavy punk beats. The three have a great onstage chemistry and are so much fun to watch. They have definitely moved up my list of my favourite live bands. Just pure fun.
Wow, just wow. This was one hell of a set. Everything about this set was completely on point. We haven’t seen The Movielife since 2003 but you wouldn’t have guessed that. The room was full and the crowd was loud. You could be mistaken for thinking that they’ve always been around. They hit the stage and people went crazy, the pit immediately opened up and thing got nice and sweaty pretty quick. The band looked like they were having fun, being back on stage in the UK. They also seemed humbled by the audience. They looked like they had no idea that so many people would come. It just made more relatable. Better yet, they had a great presence and a good connection to their audience. They were making jokes and bantering with the audience so it wasn't just song after song it was a show. Front man, Vinnie Caruana had such a command over the crowd and also a connection. He was charming and relatable. Just a guy who love playing music as are the rest of the band.
The production of the band sounded great too. I couldn’t think of a moment that didn’t flow and seemed off. So the show felt complete to me, the energy, the banter and songs it just all felt fun. Thought the crowd were singing their hearts out for pretty much every song. They got particularly loud for the big hits, as you would expect. Songs like Walking on Glass and Once in a Row were huge parts of the set. The finally though, was loud. They ended on their biggest song Jamestown which everyone proceeded to go nuts for. For me, not knowing the band's back catalogue of material didn’t stop me loving the show at all. The songs are pretty open for anyone to enjoy. It’s all pretty likeable.
This was a great show loved the set, interested by the supports and the energy was great. I am hopeful this won’t be the last time I see them. As they did say that their was going to be a new album and tour. So we'll see what the future holds for them. As I missed them the first time around, I'm glad to have them back.
Words: Mick Birchall | Photos: Cai Dixon