It was a very full and very sweaty sold-out Adacemy2 in Birmingham for this evening’s show featuring two of the North West’s finest, Massive Wagons and The Virginmarys.
Massive Wagons – The Virginmarys
Academy 2 Birmingham – 21 April 2023
Words and Photography: Andy Shaw
The sold-out academy2 crowd were all there to see Massive Wagons, who are really on the up at the moment, on the back of their exciting live performances, with their good-time rock ‘n’ roll and catchy tunes.
Kicking off with a quartet of songs from their brilliant latest album Triggered, first was Gone Are The Days with brilliant frontman Baz Mills adorned in a checkerboard full-length coat, a tad overdressed for the conditions.
He was in fine form, considering they cancelled shows earlier in the same week due to Mills being ill. Next, was the title track Triggered, then A.S.S.H.O.L.E. followed by Sawdust.
Mills asked if the crowd were ok, which was greeted by a massive roar. He then introduced an older song Buck. Guitarists Adam Thistlethwaite and Stevie Holl are a perfect foil for Mills and his on-stage jumping and gesticulating.
Hallescrewya from their House of Noise album was next, followed by three more new songs, starting with a brilliant version of Fuck The Haters, then Germ and Please Stay Calm.
They then played a medley of songs giving the crowd a chance to have a dance and a sing. Your Love, The Outfield cover, Creeping Death, a Metallica cover and a barnstorming Livin La Vida Loca, a Ricky Martin cover.
By now, they were in full flow, the crowd was absolutely sardined into the venue, and the heat generated from them was incredible. New song Generation Prime was next, with enigmatic bass player Bowz Bouskill staying at the back of the stage with the powerhouse Alex Thistlethwaite on drums.
The set ended with a crowd-pleasing version of House Of Noise, then Northern Boy, before returning with an encore of Skateboard, then Ratio and a stunning version of In It Together.
What a brilliant night by a fantastic exponent of their art.
The evening started with rock duo The Virginmarys, and they started with The Meds, with drummer Danny Dolan thrashing at his drums. Next was Portrait Of Red, followed by Lies Lies Lies and with Ally Dickaty on Guitars and vocals, they really created the sound akin to a full band.
Followed by NYC and a very Thin Lizzyesque Motherless Land, including Dolan playing a bell for added impact. The crowd were loving their mix of different sounds, which really showed in the next two songs – Devil Keeps Coming and Just A Ride with Dickaty’s vocals enthralling the packed Adacemy2.
The brilliant You’re A Killer was followed by Look Out For My Brother, and the boys were in full flow. The set ended with Where Are You Now? And Bang Bang Bang, to a massive ovation from the crowd.