Review: Circa Waves at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms

Kettle Mag, Emily Murray, Circa Waves
Written by Emily Murray

The city of Nottingham, famous for being home to Robin Hood and his merry men, is also home to some of the best gig venues in the country. Rescue Rooms is one such great gig venue, an intimate space that is well-loved and allows you to be close to the performers ensuring a better connection between the audience and the band on stage. Last week the brilliant Circa Waves were there to play to a sea of excited fans, and they provided an exhilarating show.

Ready to perform

Fresh from the success of their recently released debut album Young Chasers which reached number ten in the UK album chart (you can read my review of the album for Kettle by clicking here), the indie-pop quartet were fired up and ready to please.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen the band live, as I’d previously had the pleasure of seeing them as part of  the NME Awards Tour early last year. They certainly caught the attention of the crowd on the NME tour and were rather brilliant live, but the difference between the two gigs was quite notable.

Firstly, the audience was a sea of screaming young people with a few older fans thrown in, all eagerly awaiting the band’s arrival on stage. At the NME tour barely anyone had even heard of the band.

They were certainly receptive of the squealing fans and strode onto the stage with confidence, a confidence which stayed with them during the whole show. Frontman Kieran Shudall played off the audience’s excitement and made sure their energy was kept up right until the very end. Sam Rourke and Joe Falconer, the other two guitarists, also worked the audience and the stage, continually standing on the amps with their guitars in the air. Drummer Colin Jones, new to the band, was also clearly loving his time up there, although shoved at the back he was rather far away from the audience.

When you can see that the band is enjoying the gig, the audience have even more fun! All fired up, they wasted no time and immediately dove into Young Chasers, one of the highlights of the album. With a quick beat that’s perfect for bopping along to and plenty of ‘oohs’ for the audience to sing along to, it was the perfect opening for an energetic and jolly gig.

An intimate night

The album is full of happy, bouncy songs with easy to sing along to lyrics, all of which were great live for these reasons. Get Away, Stuck in my Teeth and T-Shirt Weather were particularly memorable, and the band really played off the audience’s enjoyment encouraging them to dance and sing along. 

Circa Waves have their sound down to a tee, and although they retained some of the rawness they had at the NME tour gig, it was a much tighter and more polished performance. 

Like the album, the gig did at times blur into one as some of their songs are very similar sounding. Therefore, when they came on for their encore and launched into the b-side of their song T-Shirt Weather, 101, the audience perked up to this different sound that was rockier and heavier than the album.

Ending on the long-awaited T-Shirt Weather, perhaps the band’s most popular song, the gig finished on a high with plenty of zest and energy that hadn’t died throughout. Great live – try and see them before they become even more popular and end up playing bigger venues.

The intimacy of the smaller venues is something the band really played off well and made the gig an even bigger success.

You can find out more about Circa Waves and book tickets for their tour by visiting their website. Have your say about Circa Waves in the comments section below.