Airbourne – O2 Institute, Birmingham – 21st November 2016

Tonight’s lineup looked pretty damn good – Airbourne with support from Crobot.  It then got better with the addition of The Franklys, a band I hadn’t seen live before, but I’ve heard the EP and really like it, so I was looking forward to all three bands on the bill.  The Franklys took to the stage first.  An all female band, they don’t waste any time getting things off to a great start, and in fact throughout their set they keep talking to a minimum in order to fit in as many songs as possible.

I’ve heard The Franklys compared to The Hives and it’s certainly a fairly good comparison so gives you an idea of what to expect from them.  Personally I prefer The Franklys though.  On stage they’re full of energy – as the bassist dances or bounces around, the guitarist has her blonde hair flying around non-stop. It’s a short but energetic set and I really enjoyed it.  A great start to the night.


Next up came Crobot. It was clear that they had plenty of fans in the crowd, and while I’d heard good things about them I hadn’t had chance to listen to them before, so wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.  I certainly didn’t expect them to come dancing out on stage before kicking off with some superb rock.  It’s got a real funk streak in the music and a real sense of fun – when these guys are playing you simply can’t help having a great fun time.  Judging by the songs they played from their new album (Welcome to fat city) then I really need to get a copy ordered as the songs were simply superb.  It’s a decent length set, but I could have happily listened to them for a lot longer.


Finally came Airbourne.  With Airbourne you always know what to expect – a bunch of beer loving Aussies who like to work hard and party hard, and they never fail to deliver on stage.  Right from the opening number, “Ready to rock” they were giving us their usual high energy show, and it wasn’t long before Joel decided to do one of his regular party pieces and smash a can of beer repeatedly against his head till it split open (the beer not his skull), showering the photographers and front row of the audience in beer.  I’m not sure how he’s managed to avoid giving himself concussion yet doing that, but if he ever finds a stronger than normal beer can he could have a nasty headache afterwards.  It’s a trick he repeats later in the show, except the second time he’s not on stage, but is instead sitting on a roadies shoulders being carried around through the crowd (who get soaked in beer).  It’s a great loud show, and they include a song they wrote for Lemmy – “It’s all for Rock’n’Roll”, and it’s suitably loud that he’d no doubt approve.

The material from the new album stands up well against fan favourites such as “Running wild” and “Girls in black”, and it’s a great show all the way through – these guys never slow down but instead give it everything they’ve got.  A great end to a great night of music.

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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