This Circa Waves article was written by Natalie Whitehouse, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Rachael Smith
It was in 2013 when I first stumbled across Circa Waves. On a whim, I bought their ‘Good For Me / Get Away’ single and, from that point onwards, I was hooked. I waxed lyrical. I told anybody who would listen that they were going to be the next big thing. I was right.
For some reason, however, they have evaded me ever since then. I have only seen them perform live once in an insignificant nightclub in Cologne – nevertheless, a superb venue. I even had to pass up the opportunity to interview them on account of the absolutely awful Sunday train service. Consequently, when it was announced that they were performing at Brixton O2 Academy, on my birthday no less, I knew I had to be there to witness what was to be one of their biggest headlining gigs to date.
After a superb warm up from Clean Cut Kid and Rat Boy, Circa Waves took to the stage, with smiles all around as they flew into the title track from their debut album, ‘Young Chasers’. The sold out Brixton Academy sprang into life, as the fans, with their arms aloft, sang every lyric back to the band, in unison with the front man, Kieran Shudall.
“We are Circa Waves from Liverpool”, the vocalist announced to an eruption of noise and cheers. Yet this band needs no introduction. If a group possesses the capacity to sell out a venue such as this, they must know that their name is upon everybody’s lips and in the case of Circa Waves, then deservedly so. Their live performances are everything that you would expect from the indie pop quartet: excitable, emphatic and completely enjoyable.
After their pulsating opener, the band dived headfirst into the rest of their set list, barely stopping for breath as they rattled through tracks from their top ten debut album. These ranged from the track ‘Good For Me’, one of the first songs ever to be released by the band back in 2013, to ‘So Long’, with its pounding drumming and fierce chorus.
As the band played the opening chords to ‘Best Years’ my vantage point changed somewhat as my friend lifted me up onto his shoulders. Sitting at this height, I had quite the view. I watched thousands of people singing, bouncing and dancing along to one of my favourite songs and seeing the band themselves in their element on stage was overwhelming. These types of observations are what make you truly appreciate live music, not that I ever needed any convincing.
Circa Waves were seemingly just as blown away. Kieran announced at one point: “One and a half years ago we played a gig in London to 150 people…” They have undergone quite a change of fortune, in such a short space of time but as they claimed the gig to be “easily the greatest gig” of their lives, you could sense that everybody in the room shared a similar sentiment. Every song was met with sheer exuberance from the crowd of teenagers and twenty somethings; from the more chilled out ‘Talking Out Loud’, to the bouncing track ‘Fossils.’
After exhausting the crowd with the roaring ‘Get Away’, Kieran, along with his fellow band mates Joe Falconer, Sam Rourke, and Colin Jones, returned for a short but sweet encore. They played the thrashing, Arctic Monkeys-esque, ‘101’, a track never officially released by the band but an ever present number on their set lists. This was then followed by the stunning ‘T Shirt Weather’. “I need you all to get down, get down”, Kieran ordered. The entire room crouched down, as he began the countdown to the song’s climax. As everyone jumped in the air, confetti cannons exploded and rained down; signalling the end to a triumphant gig in the Capital and one that no one will forget in a hurry.