As December Falls at Bodega, Nottingham review

ADFCOVERLast month, Nottingham alt-rockers As December Falls released their new EP, When You Figure Out You’re Wrong, Get Back To Me. Several days the band headed out on tour with Elements and They Say Fall, stopping off at Nottingham’s Bodega on Friday night.

Intros are a way to make or break a show – too often they’re cliche (kudos to Elements for only just saved their Star Wars intro from becoming this), over dramatic, or too predictable – but As December Falls kicked things off to a promising start with a solid intro. The fact that front woman Beth Curtis seems ready to party from the get go with a  carefree, infectious, energy only lifts the mood of the night, and the rest of the band are just as enthusiastic.

As the set kicked off, things hit a rocky patch  – guitarist Ande Hunter’s vocals were a touch too loud, not complimenting the live music as well the recorded versions, and by the end of the second song they came across as a smudge on a camera lens photographing a sky of fireworks. Nevertheless they carried on an the mishap was soon corrected.

The technicality might have been solved but things still seemed a little on edge for the band. It’s a brave move at any small show – no matter how sold out – to ask the crowd to crouch before dancing as the track comes in with full force, and I had half a fear the audience wouldn’t take any of the bait, but they danced along accordingly and the following cover of Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself was an equal hit.

Despite the crowd’s reaction, the cover felt sloppy and unrehearsed, the band’s eagerness getting away with them and marring its execution, the contrast highlighted all the more when followed by a polished old number. It seems to be be an obligatory move to include a token acoustic song mid-way through a set list, but things just seemed to be getting going. Whilst I loved how enthusiastic Beth’s performance was, for an acoustic number to have the emotive power and gravity it deserves, it needs to be delivered more softly.

Though I love the riffs in As December Falls’ tracks, as the final few songs came around Beth’s voice became drowned out, and whilst she was fighting for the volume she was losing the sarcastic attitude in the delivery of some of the EP’s best lines, particularly on new single Don’t Say A Word. I’m glad to say that somehow everything managed to fall in line for the set’s closing song, Capture, and despite a few slip ups, the show’s energy kept up throughout.

As December Falls have their core in the right place, and the quality of their latest EP just proves what they’re capable of. It’s clear from the moment they get on stage that they’re loving every second of it, but they let their enthusiasm get the better of them and things get a little rough around the edges.

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