The Last Carnival and Lacey at Stealth, Nottingham

Lacey front manPhotography credit: Ashley Cope

Local band Lacey have supported bands from Taking Hayley to Emily’s Army, and now here they are in their hometown of Nottingham, supporting Bristol’s The Last Carnival. The room may not have been sold out but it was definitely an impressive crowd, and the main support serves all those watching amazingly.

Pumpy guitar tracks get the room dancing and catchy lyrics have even those right at the back of the singing their hearts out on songs such as Let It Go and Burning Out – two tracks off their latest EP, Outlaws. Another song off their EP that they played is Contender; a slower track which had a few at the centre of the crowd swaying in time. Although the pace of the show may have slowed down a notch, the energy on stage remained as electric as ever. They finish the show with Hometown, with a drumbeat accompanying the line “who said that I’d go quietly?” that beats its way inside your head, sticking around long after the set is over. And what an incredible set it is!

After seeing them live several times, I think one of the best things about Lacey is that they always know how to react to the crowd, and tonight is no exception. Their energy and accuracy on stage is consistently impressive, never failing to show the world that you don’t have to be Jake Bugg to be a musical gem in Nottingham.

In between their never-ending tours, The Last Carnival managed to fit in recording a record – the incredible The Call Of ’56 – and they’ve been touring it all over the place. For putting on a show, they have to be one of the best small bands; it’s all well and good if the crowd are enjoying themselves, but nothing boosts the mood of the night like the band showing what a good time they’re having. If anyone’s having the time of their life on stage, it’s Justin (Morris, guitar) – jumping, twisting, and generally having enough energy to raise the roof.

Russell The Last CarnivalI’m not sure of its authenticity as a musical genre, but The Last Carnival are very much a guitar band – Russell (Williams, vocals/guitar), Mike (Marchant, bass/vocals) and Justin take the forefront of the stage, and although Russell’s the front man, they’re clearly a band and it’s hard to imagine them perform if anyone was absent. They’re incredibly tight throughout the set; an impressive feat given the amount of energy they emit.

The band interjected the fast paced set with slower tracks off the record, still keeping it together incredibly. These stripped down tracks are about as acoustic as you can get at a rock’n’roll gig, and they hint at a whole new genre of talent the band possess. In amongst their tracks off The Call Of ’56, they play Cadillac, one of their earlier tracks. It sometimes becomes a problem that as a band creates new material, they lose interest in their previous work, but apparently not here – every track, regardless of musical complexity, is performed with the same gusto.

My personal highlight of the set would have to have been one of the later tracks, The Scream Boy Shuffle. It’s in this track that they show just how much they love their fans, bringing everyone to the front and photographing the crowd cheering, before bringing the vocals back in and making the whole crowd dance – they don’t need much encouragement though! I have to say, for a band that’s only just released their first full album, they’re fantastic. They’re not performing the set, they’re living it and carrying their perpetual energy onto the stage – in my opinion, keep your eyes on these guys, because they’re bringing in a new cross-breed of pop-punk, guitar, and rock’n’roll.

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