It’s a Thursday. Of all days, it’s a Thursday. We’re late. Kitteh takes forever getting ready and there isn’t another bus for half an hour. We can’t miss Francesqa, she says, I need to see them. I didn’t understand why the commotion, but okay, I’ll go with it. So she calls a taxi and while we wait, this freaky as hell old man comes out of the Well and stares at us. Literally stares. And gets closer. And closer. And closer. He’s terrifying, so we walk away, wait for the taxi, taxi arrives, we get to the union and people are still queuing anyway. Punk gigs are always so much simpler; I know where the venue is, I know who’s on, I know when to go, how much and it’s always more relaxed and less full of freshers. Or annoying exec members of other societies.
But here we were, and as part of my duties to my own society (scored secretary of Punksoc this year, I don’t even know how/what I’m supposed to do), we decided to go down to the union for Crash, the alternative night that happens every other week. But as it happens, this week, there were a couple of bands on beforehand. Francesqa seem to be a certain favourite of Kitteh’s right now and to be honest, I’d never heard of them. But they started playing as we got in, so we ran into the middle, stared up at the stage and witnessed magic unfold.
Francesqa are, quite frankly, the most exciting ‘alternative’ (and by that, I mean potentially mainstream) act to come out right now. I had no idea what to expect, but their music is ridiculously melodic, full of energy and beauty as well as being completely grandiose. Every song is a massive anthem, filling the room entirely. They already had a band of dedicated fans repping at the front, Kitteh included, and I couldn’t help but get swept into it all. The majority of their set came from their latest EP, We Lived, which Kitteh reviewed a few weeks ago and we highly recommend you purchase it. It’s an absolute blinder of a record. The same passion that comes through on the record definitely comes through live, and singer Ashley struggled on through, despite an oncoming illness without sacrificing the quality of the set. There were a few rarer B-sides thrown in to make up the rest though, and these songs were just as enthralling and polished as their lead material. As a band, they’re extremely well rehearsed and slick, and it’s clear that Francesqa know how to put on a good show. If you can catch them on their headline tour next month (which I sadly can’t), then do go and see them – you’re in for a right treat.
Young Guns were the night’s headliners, and possibly the biggest act that’s played in the Copper Rooms since it was built. Francesqa called the place a ‘cracking venue’, the rest of us are a little bit more unconvinced. Nevertheless, there were enough people for it not to feel as empty as it usually does at these affairs. I still felt a bit lost though. We’d recruited a couple of freshers (and some not freshers) who were more lost than I and attempted to see what all the fuss was about. All I know about Young Guns are that they’ve been in Kerrang, they’ve played Reading this year and fifteen year old girls seem to go mental for them. Most of those usually convince me to stay away from a band, but I’d paid my ticket price – no point in backing out. And to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. On the whole, it’s not my kind of music. Standard ‘scene’ fare, like You Me At Six, but a little more rock and roll. I was too busy staring at the frontman – Gustav has some impressive guns himself, I can tell you that! It’s easy to see how they’ve become so big in such a short amount of time though – they’re highly polished, but not so much that they’re too inaccessible; there’s still that raw energy to make them just exciting enough. And they’re a lot of fun. It’s still danceable, and the crowd did. There was even a vaguely impressive moshpit. Most material came from new album All Our Kings Are Dead, which Kitteh quite likes. Despite my general disdain for most stuff that appears in Kerrang these days, I can’t help but respect a band who puts out stuff on their own label, tours hard and plays hard. And that’s exactly what Young Guns did. They were psyched to be there, they put on a good show. That’s all I can ask.