A brilliant night at the O2 Institute, Birmingham, saw Sleeping With Sirens, Static Dress, and Charming Liars delight. Apart from a brief power failure, the crowd certainly never had a chance to sleep.
Sleeping With Sirens / Static Dress / Charming Liars
O2 Institute Birmingham, 14 March 2023
Words and Photography: Andy Shaw
Sleeping With Sirens
Time for headliners, Sleeping With Sirens from Orlando. When the lights went down, the screams and shouts were deafening. The set was made up mainly of their 2019 album How It Feels to Be Lost, also a couple from their latest long player, Complete Collapse.
The Sirens started with Break Me Down and vocalist Kellin Quinn had the crowd eating off his hand immediately. Then a trio from How It Feels to Be Lost – Kick Me, Leave It All Behind and Never Enough.
However, during Leave It All Behind, the power went off, leaving the band on stage with no sound or light. The band left the stage and after much frantic ensuing, the stage crew managed to get everything up and running again, and they restarted the song.
We were fully back, and they were in full flow with Do It Now Remember It Later and Crosses. The crowd knew every word of every song and loved every minute. With Ears to See, and Eyes to Hear followed and bassist Justin Hills, guitarist Nick Martin and drummer Matty Best were absolutely smashing it.
A cover of Goo Goo Dolls Iris fitted in nicely, running to the set ending of Bloody Knuckles, Go Go Go and If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn, and this was a brilliant way to end.
The crowd were screaming and shouting for more, and they were rewarded with an encore of If You Can’t Hang. Another stunning night of rock left the Institute crowd hot, sweaty and elated.
Second on the bill were the brilliant Static Dress, with frontman Olli Appleyard exploding onto the stage with his bright red hair and stunning vocals. They kicked off with Disposable Care and Sober Exit(s) from their Prologue… (Comic Book Soundtrack).
This was followed by Courtney, Just Relax and the new track, Such.a.shame. This was turning into a fantastic set. The rock band from Leeds were sending the audience into a real frenzy.
There was real energy coming from the stage through Appleyard with Contrast on guitar, sporting a black mask to hide his identity and George Holding on bass.
Then they sprinted through Push Rope with the sound and energetic performance not relenting. The set ended with Sweet and Clean. I am sure we will see a lot more from these guys.
First up were Charming Liars who bounced onto the stage. They gave us a great set that warmed the Institute crowd up nicely. Starting with The Haunting and When Did We?, frontman Kiliyan Maguire was a ball of energy getting everyone involved in the music.
There was an ’80s vibe to the sound shown perfectly with Disco Elvis & Impact from their Sonic Cinema album. The Institute was filling up, and Charming Liars were getting into full swing.
Joshua Reynolds on drums was brilliant alongside Karnig Manoukian – Guitar and Mike Kruger – Bass, who kept the vibe going along nicely. The set ended with Like A Drug and Pieces, with the Institute baying for more.