Live Review: Young Guns, Holding Absence and Beyond Recall at the Asylum

Promising an evening of high-octave energy, Young Guns packed out the Asylum in Birmingham. In support of their 2016 offering, Echoes the boys brought out Beyond Recall and Holding Absence to get the evening's proceedings off to a bang.

Opening the show were Bristol trio, Beyond Recall (5), who although undoubtedly energetic fell short musically. Labeling themselves as influenced by All Time Low and Don Broco, the band drowned under a mish-mash of genre-crosses and failed to give off a unique sound. After an extremely embarrassing cover of Flo Rida’s ‘Low’, it was fair to say Beyond Recall should seek to search for their own sound or face an ongoing identity crisis.

Photo Credit: Jess McPhee

Bringing an ambient presence to the show, were Cardiff’s Holding Absence (10). Having had an incredible 2017 thus far, the band have truly made their mark on the UK alternative scene with only a handful of songs circulating social media and streaming sites. The band mirrored their atmospheric sound through their dimly lit stage set up, and juxtaposed the aggressive with tranquil through their six song set. The band eased through tracks including ‘Permanent’ and ‘Heaven Knows’, but their crowning moment came during the band’s debut release, ‘Dream of Me’. Showing a particular vulnerability and rawness, the band closed their set with ‘Penance’, which left a lasting impression on the crowd. Although the set was played to a room largely unfamiliar with the band, the boys demonstrated their ability to utilise a support slot to win the crowd over. This is Holding Absence, and big things are coming their way.

Photo Credit: Jess McPhee

Headliners Young Guns (6.5) have always been synonymous with energy, passion and flair, but this evening it felt as if the band were really struggling in these aspects. This is not to totally dismiss their performance, as up to the half way point the band were on form, showcasing reams of nostalgia in the forms of ‘In the Night’ and ‘Weight of the World’. This was nicely balanced out with the familiar additions of Dearly Departed’ and ‘Rising Up’, where front-man Gustav Wood seemed to really be in his element.

Photo Credit: Jess McPhee

Nonetheless the decision to add in a Foo Fighters cover of ‘My Hero’ seemed totally unnecessary when considering the lengthy backlog of tracks Young Guns could have played. The cover marked a real loss of momentum for the band, which was backed up by a selection of four new Echoes album tracks including ‘Bulletproof’ and ‘Living in a Dream is So Easy’ which didn’t seem to gain the crowd reception the band would have liked. Salvation did come though, in the emotional yet powerful rendition of ‘At the Gates’ off of All Our Kings are Dead, where the band was restored to their former glory. Leaving the audience somewhat in an anti-climatic state, Young Guns returned for an encore that saw the crowd in its most energetic form of the entire evening, demonstrating that Young Guns do still have a flame of passion within them. Crowd sing-a-longs to ‘Bones’ and ‘Daylight’ restored some faith in the show and suggested that the bands are still revered by their fans. Hopefully this evening was just a glitch for the band, and they will return back to Birmingham with full vivacity in the near future.


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