Midnight Wire 2011

Midnight Wire launch show in 2011

Gig reviews for September 2011

Banner for Arts in Leicester magazine

Midnight Wire’s launch at Sub91 on 2nd August 2011

[This page is a copy of an article published on the old Arts in Leicestershire website, in 2011]

Trevor Locke reports, with videos by Kevin Gaughan and photos by Will Poulton.

Midnight Wire at the band’s launch gig in 2011

After a series of secret gigs, used as dress rehearsals, Midnight Wire finally appeared in public for the first time, as the four band members walked on the large stage of the Sub91 venue in Granby Street.

After much publicity, fans and rockerati alike, got to hear what they could do, through the top-notch PA system of the large city centre venue. A substantial crowd of teenage fans had gathered in front of the stage to cheer them on. Further back in the audience were members of other, established bands curious to see if the delivery would live up to their expectations.

The members of Midnight Wire are no newbies, still wet behind their musical ears. Most of them had previously played in successful bands. So, as you would expect, they delivered their songs with a healthy dose of confidence.

Their forty-minute headline set was filled with exquisitely good songs; catchy tunes, compelling beats and memorable lyrics. From start to finish, the band unleashed one stonkingly good song after another. The crowd lapped it all up with relish.

Here’s the band performing their song Coming Clean.

On the lead mic, Alex Rooster Van Roose. Behind him on the skins Adam Horton. To Rooster’s left, guitarist Chris Merriman and on the bass, Arjan Johal.

Alex Van Roose

The audience soon got into it, as you can see from this clip of Kings of the City.

Link to It’s got that fizz that young audiences love. Watch the kids responding to Alex, raising their arms and clapping in time. Listen to those crackin’ guitar parts. Chris helps out with the vocals.

It made me wish I was thirty tears younger and could get in there and mosh with the rest. To me, it’s all about the let’s ‘ave it, let’s go mental music that teenage music is about.

Here’s their song, Answers.

Their set finished, the kids were not going to let them go. They had to come back for an encore, here they are playing Keep on Falling.

They weren’t short of extra songs. Since their formation earlier this year, they have penned a catalogue of new songs that would have taken most established bands several years to complete. These guys are driven by youthful energy. Songs writers in the band have been doing a great job spinning out new tunes.

With a launch like this, they have a defiantly bright future ahead of them. They are full of ambition, they are insatiably restless and they are dripping with adrenaline-fuelled talent. Artsin will be following their progress with keen interest.

Alex Van Roose of Midnight Wire, 2011

Supporting Midnight Wire were two bands. The well established Leicester boys Weekend Schemers and, also launching their career, the newly formed Vincents.

Weekend Schemers have something in common with the headline band: their ability to fire up a crowd and ply them with intoxicating songs. Frequently likened to MUSE, either in a complementary or in a derogatory way, depending on how you see things, these four lads always lay on a party when they take to the stage.

Weekend Schemers on stage at Sub 91 in 2011

Photo of Weekend Schemers on stage

They love their sing-along numbers, even if, at times they have a little difficulty in getting the audience to sing the right words at the right times.

Watch this video of Weekend Schemers.

The band has a big asset in the form of Andy Cooper, whose big voice and intense stage presence adds a big slice of dazzle to the band’s output.

Andy Cooper on stage with Weekend Schemers in 2011

With sterling support from guitarist Connor Evans and bassist Joe Doyle, not forgetting the resounding work of Harry Radburn behind them, they know how to wow a crowd.

Talking to me after the show, Andy Cooper was quick to assure me that a clutch of new songs is on their way which definitely represents a move away from their Muse-like origins. “The band has found its own sound now”, he said, confidently.

They were only 16 when we wrote the feature about them. Now, older and more experienced, with an extensive gigography behind them, they have been surprising everyone with their work. They started out as an indie-pop ice cream van of a band. This year, they have shown us their new side, their ability to metamorphose into a bunch of guys that can rustle up some nouvelle cuisine musical offerings.

Watch this video of Weekend Schemers performing at the show.

The Vincents played their first public gig tonight. The Leicester four-piece delivered an eclectic course of songs, ranging from medium-paced melodies to fast numbers in which individual musicians could showcase their skills.

With Pascal Mowla (ex-Capture the Flag) on lead guitar, they focused intently on playing their instruments, keeping in time and consequently didn’t project much stage presence. It was all rather new-bandish.

It took them a while to warm up. A noticeable lack of backing vocals is something that is being addressed, the bassist was keen to tell me afterwards. Despite their wet-ears newbieness, they punched out some respectable pieces. Drummer Sam got to show off his skills on the skins in a fireworks solo.

Clearly some instrumental talent here but until they get to grips with the vocal layer, they won’t amount to much, unless they decide to follow Maybeshewill down the purely instrumental route, but I doubt that.

What makes the other two bands stand out from the local scene generally, is their ability to manufacture memorable songs. Where samey is the norm, alongside instantly-forgettable music, it’s always exciting when bands turn up with stuff you do want to listen to again and can actually remember on the way home. Pascal reassured me that The Vincents are still developing. Others wondered why they had decided to launch at this moment in time when most other newbie groups would have played multiple smaller gigs to get the flying hours to justify a big venue launch party.

All in all, a magnificently good gig. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something huge. It’s a testament to their ambition that they chose a big venue to launch their act, confident that they could fill it with their reputation and self-confidence.

Midnight Wire at the Sub 91.

This page was published on 14/5/19

Author: Trevor Locke

Trevor Locke is a novelist and journalist and formerley editor of Arts in Leicester magazine