First up to a frustratingly small crowd on this cold February evening was LIGHT YEARS. These guys came onto the stage with a cool calm energy, and hit straight into their specific take on Pop Punk- that being of a more grown up variety than the rest of the nights bands offered. Similar in sound to the likes of THE WONDER YEARS, their performance was chilled and their onstage presence was warm and inviting- definitely going to go away and listen to these guys- we even met up with them after their set for a chat, so keep eyes peeled for the interview. Second up were huge up-and-comers CREEPER. CREEPER are literally on the verge of explosion, introduced to the world by welsh legends FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND they’ve worked the scene and paid their dues and have earnt the exposure they’re just starting to get. On stage they were truly great, front-man Will is a star, probably a cliched likeness to mention; but he’s the spit of Gerard Way, but in his own way, and no poor mans way at that. The band are a slick and strong little army behind Will’s pizzazz. I don’t think on this night the crowd were entirely ‘theirs’ but for me they killed it. So I was stood by the stage before third band STATE CHAMPS bounced on, and I hear some kids in the crowd. (When I say kids, this was a Pop Punk party- so the clientele was youthful.) Usually the natural response to such nonsense would be “I wish they’d get a grip” when this girl spouted to her dungaree-clad pal; “I literally don’t think I can deal with them being so close, on that stage right there!” – but on this night, for this band ! I turned around and was like “I KNOW RIGHT!?!”. One of the first bands I ever photographed, reviewed and met, STATE CHAMPS are close to my heart. Just under two years ago these guys were unknown in this country and now they’re TV and Radio abound. They tore the institute UP. This could have been their tour, their show, their venue. Honestly, the place went crazy. I was starting to forget how good shows can be. STATE CHAMPS are a breath of fresh air, they are so much fun and their tunes are ridicccccculously infectious.I was here for them, and they’re always there for me. Go listen, go listen now. Plus damn, they be cute. NECK DEEP represent British Pop Punk right now. They’re a cool band; with great tunes and the epic show they always put on, you just can’t fail. Through various issues this year the band have persevered and remained in our ears and hearts with integrity. The crowd ate up every moment, the place was on fire. NECK DEEP are a fun, non-offensive band that everyone and anyone can enjoy, their gigs get a bit crazy though- so the fainter of heart be warned!