I had the opportunity over the xmas period to go to the fireball fuelling the fire tour at the o2 academy Birmingham having received a promotional ticket, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been to the o2 having seen live shows and gone to their subculture nighclub like events in the past.

The fuelling the fire tour consisted of 4 bands touring the country for a variety of events and opening with a local band to the area selected from a competition for the chance to perform on stage. Being an event with several bands playing at the start there were only a handful of people scattered around the room with most people only turning up for the headliners later, and this had some factors over the performance and shaping my impression of some of the bands which played. Please note that in my video I reference the bands with the incorrect names as the band order I used for reference was incorrect, however the order stated in this article are correct along with the cards associated on each band in the video.

Wood and Nails

Wood and nails are a local band that were selected to play on stage through winning a competition and being selected as the best band to play, queueing outside in the press and guests line I was speaking to one of the band members girlfriends who told me how they’d won the chance to perform and they were very good, and as opening bands went they did come out strong, and I know it’s a little controversial for some people but I would describe them as an emo punk band, and having gone to nights out including new years where many people were getting up and dancing to the old emo classics I think the days are gone where hating on emo music is the done thing. They played strong with some very good tunes that all had their own things going on and didn’t sound the same and did a good job at lifting up the room into the spirit for the event and the audience seemed to be appreciating their style of music too. I couldn’t help but think how the lead singer of the band had similarities with looking like a content creator called uberhaxornova and I wonder if the singer knows how close his image looks.

You can find out more about wood and nails at https://woodandnails.bandcamp.com/

Lost In Stereo

~The second band on stage were lost in stereo and they were introduced as being the highlight of the hosts tour and as them being the band selected as the upcoming band and were granted some recognition for being a really good band, however at this stage the room was still pretty empty and people were coming in, they did look familiar and I think I may have seen them on smaller stages at some events I’ve worked at in the past perhaps at a festival, the big guy up front and the drummer with their smiles and faces they made seemed very familiar. They did however have a little offputting stance on demanding that the audience join in on the songs which perhaps they don’t know especially at such an early spot and did lose the audience a bit making these demands even when people were already joining in, they kept asking and threatened to stop performing if people didn’t join in which was a little bad. Perhaps it’s a punkish attitude and being a punk show it’s supposed to pull in the audience but I found that it was putting people back a bit from the upbeat mood they’d gained from the first band, and perhaps with a later spot with more people in the room they wouldn’t've had such issues however early on with very few people in the room it was a little much to be making such demands and felt a little awkward when the audience got quieter and quieter the more demands he made. Their music was fine though and they played well, they just needed to read the room a little better.

You can find out more about lost in stereo at https://www.facebook.com/lostinstereouk

Face To Face

The third band on stage were face to face they came on with some traditional pop punk music with some pretty strong guitar riffs and decent tunes all very danceable and enjoyable. At this point the audience was starting to fill up and there were a lot more people in the room, they did ask the audience to join in on one song with something very easy to join along with, which was a better way of doing it than demanding repeatedly through your performance and getting in a huff when not everyone joins in which had poisoned the audience and these guys did a good job at bringing everyone back into a good mood and bringing the show back together, this was the first time I’d heard of them and I was surprised they weren’t a lot more popular because they did have songs that would compete with many pop punk bands of the past which have reached number one or topped the charts and I feel these guys could do very well themselves, perhaps they just weren’t as well known this side of the pond and perhaps have had great success in America, either way I expect them to be able to reach big heights.

You can find out more about face to face at www.facetofacemusic.com

The Bronx

The penultimate band on stage were the Bronx, they were on the heavier side of punk and with a multi band show it’s good to have a breakup in the tempo and getting a little heavier and harder was a good way to progress the night, at this point the audience was getting pretty full and pretty rowdy and having a front spot at the stage I was getting bodyslammed into the metal railings pretty hard repeatedly with people at the front either not caring or deliberately ramming as hard as they could into people along the front, as the bands performance progressed the lead singer decided to go into the audience and perform in a ring of death around him, essentially performing while everyone around him moshed in a circle and he passed through the entire audience essentially vacuuming all the people up who were into the rowdiness and then deposited them on the other side of the room which made the night enjoyable again without getting slammed into a barrier, I could have gone further back to enjoy the show without the risk of that but it was worth putting up with at the time so I didn’t mind. They once again had a good variety in the tunes in a heavier format so maintained a good set variety.

You can find out more about the Bronx at https://twitter.com/the_bronx

Flogging Molly

The final performance were flogging molly the headline act, a 7 piece irish American band playing a variety of different instroments with an irish punk twist. They had recently suffered a loss though I’m not sure if it was a band member or a family member however I noticed that throughout their performance people were being told they’re not allowed to take pictures so I assume it was a band member and I can understand them not wanting pictures taken to honour the lost band member and they had acknowledged through the night and dedicated things to his honour. The tunes they played were very upbeat fast tempo’d punk rock style and the additional instruments like violin’s and harpsicord (or whatever the wearable wind powered keyboard is called) definitely added to the celtic vibe and feel of the performance. The lead singer had a very vibrant and outgoing attitude and definitely showed off his star qualities elevating the performance beyond simply being music played on stage to turning it into a true stage show and his charismatic attitude definitely made the performance a step beyond anything else in the night showing why they were the headliners and as popular as they were.

You can find out more about flogging molly at https://www.floggingmolly.com

Overall Impressions

The event on the whole was pretty good and they varied up the styles of punk music available throughout the night so it was a good blend and an interesting mix of the variety available in punk music, from emo through traditional along to hard rock styles and folk celtic punk styles. The night was of course sponsored by fireball whiskey so they provided samples around through the night with 1/3rd shots and of course it’s a tasty whiskey and it’s a good way to get the audience mellowed out a little. For your entry ticket you got to see 5 band and they all played good music and you also had the opportunity to stay for free entry to the subculture night which stayed open afterwards so all in all it’s a pretty decent bargain for the going ticket price, and if future years offer the same variety in punk styles and as good a night out I would definitely recommend going yourself.

The fireball fuelling the fire tour is sponsored by fireball whisky https://fireballwhisky.com/