Circa Waves | Live Review

Circa Waves 2015


A predictable but satisfying encore, they ended the night gratifyingly with ‘T-shirt weather’, a song with all the markings of an indie anthem.

Mention Circa Waves and you’ll get equal parts nodding heads and a few blank stares; start humming ‘T-shirt Weather’, and the recognition sets in. Despite an incredibly successful two years since forming, including a top ten album and countless performances across the globe, Circa Waves have remained ever so slightly out of reach for some of the mainstream. This however serves them pretty well. As proven on Friday night, as the crowd snaked up the stairs and filled out all three tiers of the O2 there was a united sense of smugness among the hordes of people waiting, as though we were in on the secret, and now everybody else had found out.

Benefited by not over-saturating the music scene of 2015, last Friday night at the O2, (the second stop on their UK tour) was a sold out show. With the set list solely a showcase of Circa Waves debut album ‘Young Chasers’, It’s easy to understand why the album was such a hit; every song is good, relatable and sounds even better played live. Needless to say the show certainly lived up to expectations…

Following opening acts Clean Cut Kid and Rat Boy, the guys entered the stage in front of a wall of golden lights flashing like a honeycomb, and opened with ‘Young Chasers’, the name sake of their first album. With the audience screaming and singing from the first track they lead straight into ‘Good for Me’, and through the album; a collection of indie rock pop. Their music, heavily themed with stories of unrequited love, alternately sung from the point of view of the rejecter and the rejected was received very well. In particular, ‘My Love’ was sung with as much bittersweet affection offstage, as it was on.

When frontman Kieran Shudall, shouted “Bristol this is the best part of my day”; it was a satisfying statement to know that the frontman was enjoying it as much his audience. Charismatic in his quest for re-assurance Shudall demanded a promise from the crowd. “You’ve got to dance to this one though, promise you’ll dance?” It didn’t take long for the act and audience to come to an agreement, by way of hundreds of feet stamping the floor, to the sound of ‘The Luck has gone’. The foot pounding built to a crescendo of bodies throwing themselves about in front of the stage as the chorus started, leaving the room shaking. Presumably, this is probably an album favourite for many.

Closing prematurely with ‘Get Away’ and ‘Stuck in my Teeth’, the night didn’t feel finished. It wouldn’t have been right to close without hearing the song they are best known for and nobody moved an inch anticipating their return to stage. A guy in the crowd mumbling to anyone who would listen, “I got tickets just to hear this song”. They returned pretty quickly with a predictable but satisfying encore, ending the night gratifyingly with ‘T-shirt weather’ the song with all the markings of an indie anthem.
Reminiscing with strangers over failed romances is a tried and tested formula, but Circa Waves do it perfectly.

Watch ‘T-Shirt Weather’ here: