Adventures in Birmingham: live music – This Burning Age

The Actress & Bishop June 4th 2011

So finally I get to see This Burning Age for real 

The first introduction to them was via one of the best things in Birmingham, Live Music Friday at Urban Coffee Co. This was an especially devised acoustic set so it’s difficult to imagine what they describe as ‘electro rock’ sounds like in a conventional music venue.  It’s brave of any band of this genre to adapt their set to a small (tiny) coffee shop, especially without knowing if anyone in the audience will like their customary music.

As it happens, at least two of us do. 

I would have seen them again anyway, just for the sake of supporting local bands, but after looking up a couple of their tracks when I get home, the next thing I do is check my schedule and tell my friends.

Not just because the music sounds good but also because they seem like nice boys (that could end up being their tag line, “This Burning Age, they seem like nice boys”). I feel I ought to be sharing them. So it doesn’t take much to persuade a seven hardcore live music fans to make it to The Actress last Saturday. 

I have to say it was a great value as we saw the tuneful Faye Bagley and the toe tapping Ask Alfie (yes Mike Skinner-ish but everyone wants to be somebody) but I don’t recall the 3rd band as much, as by now, I just want to see the main attraction!

My friend’s sister who was visiting for the weekend and knew nothing about the band gave me the best quote of the night, ‘I know they’re going to be good just by watching them set-up.’ 

But they weren’t good, they were FANTASTIC! As soon as they started, I thought to myself, ‘this is more like it.’ I couldn’t say it aloud of course as no-one would have heard me, which is exactly how it should be.

The audience – and us especially – immediately take to them. Their sheer professionalism as soon as they start is immense; they all work so hard and are so in tune (ahem) with each other; there is just no let up.  

Between the five personalities on stage, it’s difficult to know who to focus on, the answer is – all of them! The on stage energy is explosive and it’s impossible to think of anything else; everyday life is momentarily stopped as you’re transported into the ‘This Burning Age’ world.

The one friend who, who was at the acoustic gig particularly fixated on Tim Wilson’s drumming so she may be picking up the drum kit again – in a manner of speaking. 

I’m already starting to recognise tracks and love hearing the regular arrangement of ‘Stronger, Faster, Fitter’ and fittingly, the set ends as the album does with the beautiful ‘Honey.’ It’s only afterwards I learn this is relatively new line-up and yet they all bond like they are childhood friends on stage.

So I’m thrilled that this time I managed to get a CD (I know, so retro) which I listened to in its entirety the next day. More on that here


Come and see the band at the Hare & Hounds on 30th June when I’ll be leaving the sanctity of B5 once again, the number 50 bus is fast becoming my friend.


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