On the penultimate night of their sell-out 5 date UK tour, Herefordshire-based pop rockers Room 94 show their (almost) hometown an explosively good time at London’s Islington Academy.
Despite it being mid-April there is a definite chill in the air, though when you see the queue spanning the block around London’s Islington Academy, there is nothing but the buzz of anticipation.
First to take to the stage tonight are pop-rock five piece Falling Faster. Hailing from Birmingham UK the all male outfit are brilliantly explosive and have energy in spades. The band are tight and together, and frontman Elliot Radford’s throaty vocals are great.
The lyrics to their opening track, ‘give it your best shot/give me all you’ve got’ definitely set the tone of the night. Though, you can’t help but feel that the lads have been a little bit cheated; one look around the room and you can see that it’s not even half full.
‘Do you guys know Taylor Swift?’ Radford asks before launching into a cover of ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’, which whips the crowd into a frenzy. During, Radford jumps into the throng, ‘let’s see if you guys can sing, are you guys ready?’ he asks before inciting a mass sing-along. It takes a few tries to get the crowd going but they do, and when the band take a crowd shot with the countdown theme-tune in the background, everyone raises their arms and lets out that almighty cheer that they’ve been hiding.
Next up are fellow brummies Stakeout, who emerge to the sound of Nikki Minaj’s ‘Starships’. This young looking threesome are a stark contrast to the guys from Falling Faster.
Tracks like ‘Young and Fearless’ and set closer ‘Chelsea’ are jaunty and full of colour. In amongst the original songs, the boys also treat the audience to some well known covers, like Taylor Swift’s ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’, which you can see below:
Following Stakeout were Oxfordshire based fivesome Disclosure. Not to be confused with the electronic dance act, the band played a blistering set of killer tracks such as ‘Stories’, ‘Gravity’, and an amped up cover of Jessie J’s ‘Do It Like A Dude’.
The band were dynamite, Tiff commanding the stage and the audience; every inch the rock-star. And she has the vocal chops to back up such a presence, her deep and throaty voice sounding strong at all times, hitting the notes on every trill perfectly.
“This song is about how rubbish boys are and how much of a waste of time they are”, she says before launching into their set closer ‘What A Waste of Time.’ From the opening bars the audience go crazy, jumping along during the chorus’s and clapping on command.
The last support of the night was 18 year old singer/songwriter Sam Callahan. Without the security of a band behind him, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little bit nervous for him. ‘I was feeling a little bit nervous thinking, I’ve got to follow these guys’, he admitted, but he had nothing to worry about.
Opening the set with his memorable upbeat track ‘Runaway Train’, he well and truly brought it and then some. Like many of the other acts of the night Callahan covered some well known tracks like Ed Sheeran’s ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need you’, Bruno Mars’s ‘Grenade’, and Jason Derulo’s 2010 hit, ‘In My Head’. Set closer, and upcoming single, ‘Crazy’ also proved to be a big hit with the audience. With another addictive chorus and a great melody, this is definitely someone who knows how to write good pop music.
Before Room 94 emerge, Show it Off’s Robbie Coles – who is tonight acting as camera man for the Hertfordshire headliners – appears from backstage armed with an SLR, and pretty soon has the crowd chanting fiercely for them.
As the lights go down, you can feel the bass through the floor, and the atmosphere in the room changes. The air becomes charged, the audience are well and truly awake now and they’re hungry.
When our pop/rock headliners take to the stage, a piercing scream erupts and you can tell that the crowd have been holding back, but there’s no sign of that now. As the band explode into their mischievous set opener ‘Tonight’, the crowd go wild and the sense of release is unmistakable.
The guys also engage in some cheeky banter with the audience, vocalist Kieran Lemon prompting us to shout ‘sugar tit kit’ at bassist Kit Tanton on more than one occasion, and sharing anecdotes about meeting a meerkat named Alexander, and eating salt and vinegar flavoured cricket. No I’m not kidding.
There was also talk of how it’s easy for boys to have a sneaky wee in a bottle during a long drive on the motorway, and Kieran Lemon reckons he has figured out the solution for girls: Pringle pots. “I’m not really sure where you’re going with this”, laughs guitarist Sean Lemon. But who cares?
The band played a blistering set, featuring tracks like the explosive ‘Take It Back’ and ‘You Got It Wrong’, showed off their sensitive side with powerful love song ‘Ignorance is Bliss’, and threw in a brilliant cover of Bruno Mars’s ‘Locked Out of Heaven’, the audience lapping up every second. Set closer, and newest single, ‘Chasing the Summer’ comes around much too soon, and as the gaggle go even crazier before the night comes to an end you get the feeling that this is what they’ve been waiting for.