9 stars

As soon as I arrived to the show I wasn’t expecting the room to be as small and compact as it was. People were flooding in from the moment doors opened, awaiting the headliners Fort Hope. Small venues always create the best atmosphere. 

A Mouth Full Of Matches – Photo Credit: Heather Lowe Photography

Manchester alt rock band A Mouth Full Of Matches were the  first to grace the stage. I’d never been able to witness this band live, but have always found them on my spotify discover, but that was nothing compared to their live performance and presence. Unaware of what to expect. However they entered the stage with such energy, it was certainly a band to get the crowd warmed up while awaiting the headliners.

Throughout their time among the stage, each member was running around the stage showing no signs of stopping any time soon. Tom’s vocals reminded more of a Gustav Wood (Young Guns) style, and this was something not to be missed. The set included flawless riffs, accompanied with great drum beats. Tonight was certainly one where every member of the crowd was having fun and dancing and singing away with the band, and as requested ‘Let’s have your lighters in the air” fans did so and it was beautiful to witness. Halfway through the set Tom mentioned “Ive been wanting to play a show with Fort Hope for a while now” As the set drew to a close, the fans roared in cheers for the band, and wanted more.  A Mouthful Of Matches are a band I would highly recommend both for their live performance and their energetic presence. (7.5/10)

Monarks – Photo Credit: Heather Lowe Photography

Second of the three bands on this show were band Monarks. They entered the stage with such enthusiasm in the way that you knew they were going to rock their set. “”You seem a little quiet, How are you doing Birmingham?” Following this question the crowd responded with cheers and  ‘This is our last night on tour with the boys in Fort Hope, thank you for attending the shows, and even travelling to every show on the tour “I’m looking at you” This fan was dedicated and it was beautiful to see that there are fans so dedicated to travel to every venue on this tour. Less than 3 songs into the set ended up with a broken bass string which led to a short delay into the set. However that didn’t stop their last set on this tour from being perfect. Every song was followed by cheers from the crowd. ‘Huge thanks to Fort Hope for having us on this tour”

Monarks played a variety of older and newly released tracks during their set and each one followed with claps and cheers from the fans. This is a band I expect to see a lot more of as they had a great rock feel and it worked perfectly on the night with both Fort Hope and AMFOM. Monarks announced new music to be released in the upcoming months. However this is a band I’d definitely recommend taking a listen to and catching their life set. (7/10)

Fort Hope
Fort Hope – Photo Credit: Heather Lowe Photography

Fans had been queuing for hours before the band even arrived and the moment the band walked through their awaiting crowd in the tiny venue and out onto the stage the crowd roared.

Lastly were headliners Fort Hope, over the last two years I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve had the honour of working with these three, but there has never been a show where the band haven’t killed their set and tonight was certainly one of those nights. Fort hope entered with a great intro which then progressed onto their first song of their set tonight ‘That’s the way the river flows’ I turned around and saw every member of the crowd singing away. Just over a song into their set and one of their fans shouted “I LOVE YOU GASKIN”

Jon followed by thanking Monarks for being a part of the tour, and also A Mouth Full Of Matches for being a part of this show. After a few songs Jon mentioned ‘This is the second time we’ve played this song on this tour as we only wrote it while we were in Wales” and introduced “The People of The Lake” considering the song was only created a few days before tonights show it was certainly something to be proud of, every riff and drum beat tied in perfectly with Jon’s vocals.

fort hope
Fort Hope – Photo Credit: Heather Lowe Photography

Realising how warm the room was and how sweaty the crowd was and after a few fans asking the band to play ‘Rapture’ and they gave in “We’ve only played the Rapture a few times on this tour but as it’s sweaty in here why not? You guys are going to have to help sing along?” And surely the crowd did within a few chords being played, and Jon walked away and the crowd carried on.

Fort hope ended their set with my all time favourite Plans. The band had definitely put on a killer of a show. This is a band I’ve expected big things from after I first saw them perform with Fearless Vampire Killers three years back. Safe to say that every time I have seen these guys play I’ve been impressed and they’ve performed better every time. (9/10)

Review by Heather Lowe (@hevss_)


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