Reverend and The Makers kick things off in fine style, although there’s a problem with the lights at the beginning of their set so they kick things off in relative darkness. With just 30 minutes to play with, they pick their songs wisely; knowing what the crowd are going to want to hear; saying that even songs from the new album are well received. It’s a shame that the arena is just starting to fill up because it’s obvious that the band and crowd that are here are up for a good time. By the time they launch into ‘Heavyweight Champion’ the standing crowd are bouncing. As expected Reverend and The Makers do a great job of starting the show.
Second on are Sleaford Mods, a strange outfit! They are a bizarre Electro two piece who honestly do very little to warm the crowd up. It sounds like you’ve been to watch a band down the pub and as they’re packing down for the night that one drunk local grabs the mic before they manage to turn the P.A off.I’m sure these guys have an important message but unfortunately it was lost on me.
The Libertines return, and this time to arenas. Originally formed in 2000 and rising to great heights, the band quickly broke under well publicised difficulties; concerning drug abuse and personal conflict. The guys, slightly older and wiser then came together for a successful tour in 2014 and now are back again. Unfortunately for me The Libertines felt slightly out of their depth in an arena, I would of loved to have seen them back in the day in a smaller, academy type venue- Nottingham Arena was half empty and no one in the seats bothered even to stand for their set. The faithful at the front clearly enjoyed the night and hopefully that was good enough for the band to have had a good night too. The Libertines are no doubt still a tight outfit, they are just the right amount of messy to not lose that raw edge that made them one of the most talked about band of our generation.
*Photography by Kimberley Bayliss (KAFB Photography)*