Give It A Name 2007 @ Earls Court, London
28th April 2007
Picture the scene, you enjoying a nice leisurely train journey on a tepid Saturday morning, quietly enjoying the stations go by. When suddenly out of nowhere your transported to another world, Bill & Ted style only without the phone box. A world plagued by teenagers with excessive make-up, manhood destroyingly tight jeans, ludicrously painful looking piercing’s, glo-sticks and a bleakness of existence only equalled inside a therapy seminar entitled “Suicide for Beginners”, Bummer Dude . Girls with ludicrously erratic dyed black hair styles and Guys who spend more time preening their stupid overgrown mullets than there are hours in a day. Where had we landed? Had we suddenly arrived at a rocky horror picture show convention? or had we run into a New Romantics Society March? Or perhaps even the most scary thought… we’d travelled back to the 80’s!! Sadly nothing quite this odd and bizarre occurred, we had infact bought tickets to Give It A Name ‘07, an American pop/punk styled indoor festival in Londons Earls Court. Myself and The Docktor were engulfed in emo/punk-teens as far as the eyes could fathom as we waited for entry and the Mr Flowers to arrive.
The most amusing thing about being in the emo-fest is that what with everyone attempting to look ‘different’, ‘unique’ not one of them managed it. Instead those of us over the age of 20 and clothed in semi regular attire of jeans and tee’s were infact the minority, now we were the ones making a statement, rock on!
Coming in a close second on amusals of the day, the fact that the vast majority of people here were adolescents meant one amazing thing. The bars were empty!! Taking full advantage of this we grabbed a table and strategically edged it to a great location with a clear view of the stage. So great infact that we sat there for the first 3 hours drinking away to the sounds of the lesser known bands.
DiR Writers @ GIAN 07
This festival was much akin to the Warped Tour in the states, with a single stage split into 2 with one band playing on one side and the next setting up on the other. This is a great idea and works brilliantly as you only ever have to wait 5 minutes for the next band. Plus the American ethic of disorganization was rife, with nobody having any clue as to what on earth was going on! Still after much searching we found the days line-up, printing on a an A4 sheet stuck randomly to a wall. Anywho…enough chitter chatter…We saw some bands too:
Nice and Organised….Huh!
The Zico Chain … Saw them a while back at the Alkaline Trio gig, sounded ok I remember not being a big fan back then and they did nothing to change that.
Kevin Devine … Singer Songwriter did well and I enjoyed this set. Mainly because his cover versions were great! he covered Weezer’s My Name Is Jonas, and Neutral Milk Hotel’s superb “Holland 1945” with a little help from Brand New who acted as his backing band. His originals sounded good but quiet considering the brash onslaught of the punkier bands, the most eclectic artist of the day, up most respect for that!
Kids In Glass Houses … Played a good set and the crowd lapped it up, very similar to other welsh rockers Lostprophets and Funeral For A Friend. No bad thing though as I really liked them, had some catchy riffs and should go on to bigger things.
Madina Lake … With “I ‘Heart’ ML” stickers as far as the eye could see, these guys had irritated me before even stepping onto the stage! Sounded like a clone of MCR but with electro synths. Didn’t push my live music buttons but the crowd seemed very vocal echoing each lyric at top squeal. They must have done something right I spose.
Senses Fail … Loud Screamo-Angst-Thrashers, didn’t really pay attention, was too busy drinking…Woo!
Zebrahead … Pretty generic, the soundtrack to my dinner was nothing I hadn’t already heard umpteen times already that day.
Enter Shikari … We finally got up and headed into the main arena to be greeted by a huge crowd and waves of Glo-Sticks soaring overhead. This could only mean the trance/punk-masters of St. Albans and their faithful following were out in force. These guys certainly take on a new meaning when in the live arena, the hard edged riffs and electro-synths had the rampant crowd in a crazed trance of dance floor-rock. The singles they played were awesome, but yet stook out like sore thumbs from the mediocre bulk of their tracks. Still in only a 30 min show we were treated to a great set.
Saosin … To stage B and some uptight screamers. This isn’t my favourite offshoot of punk, but these guys melded the pop melodies, larynx destroying vocals and metal riffs to great effect. Short and sweet their songs were catchy and fast, having said that these guys were well worthy of their late afternoon slot.
Motion City Soundtrack
Motion City Soundtrack … This is the real reason I was here, now we set up camp 5 rows from the front and began enjoying that great festival pastime of uncontrollable swaying. The wait for MCS was non-existent as they bounded onto stage almost the instant Saosin struck their final power chord and kicking straight into a exhilarating version of ‘Attractive Today‘. This set the standard for their set as well as the mood, it was mayhem in the crowd as they piled through their raciest numbers including the synth overdrive ‘Time Turned Fragile‘ and singalong ‘Everything Is Alright‘. Each lyric was greeted with exact reverberating echoes from the crowd giving sparking a great reaction from lead singer Justin, you couldn’t help but let the good times roll! Thrown in mid set was a new track called ‘For Real’, this sounded great and had such a catchy chorus, things are looking up for their new album. Sadly their set was only 30 minutes long, yet they still managed to throw in 7/8 top tracks as they ended on the classic witty pop tune ‘The Future Freaks Me Out‘. This was a superb energetic pop-punk set and left most of the crowd wanting more. Highlight of the day? Absolutely!
Time For A Rest
Cute Is What We Aim For … We had retreated to the bar for well earned refreshments. From my position relaxing on the floor they sounded pretty poor, I’m sure people who paid attention would disagree though.
New Found Glory
New Found Glory … I wasn’t familiar with their stuff but as they were probably the veteran band of the day, they must be decent. They did have a few good tracks which alighted the much diminished crowd, nothing really grabbed you let along picked you up and shook you. They did pay homage to Enter Shikari during the set, they were clearly after some more brownie points.
All American Rejects … Most unexpected performance of the day came from these sunshine pop-punks. Unexpected in the way that it did ‘not’ suck. Their set was lively was poppy enough that even the most sceptical onlooker toe tapped away though the whole set. The radio friendliness was never far away, evident on their biggest hits to date, “Swing Swing” and “Move Along” but this was all very well executed and had bundles of energy. The lead singer managed to commandeer a rogue football from the crowd and encouraged the crowd to form human goal posts. After bad mouthing the American version of the game and applauding British crowds dancing technique he had done really well to win over the fans. By this time the goal was set, a girl high above the crowd was the target. Any worries of her being struck were unfounded, as the ball flied high and wide towards the bar.,10/10 for effort but a 2 for execution. Thankfully unlike his soccer skills the music was pretty good.
Brand New … This was a totally different kettle of fish from everyone else today, the set was taken exclusively from their latest album and was a uber-moody, dark, despondent set of astounding beauty. The melodies were riveting and mesmerized most of the crowd into a gentle involuntary sway. Each song was amazing and wasn’t fully given credit by the crowd who were there clearly for their poppy earlier numbers. Nowadays Brand New are not happy-go-lucky as they once were, dedicating one song to a kid who was murdered in their home town. Instrumentally they were amazing even packing more members onto stage than the Arcade Fire, having 4 guitarists on stage at all times, one of whom was playing his guitar with a violin bow. This pinnacled with a set closing extended outro in which over 12 people were hammering all kinds of instruments, not mentioning the 8 perfectly in time makeshift drummers. The quiet verse, heartpoundingly loud chorus worked a treat. There were few dull moments in this great, but joyously depressing set.
This was great end to a great day of pop, punk, youth culture, and alcohol related fun! I’ll definitely try to be Giving it a Name next year too!