Thursday @ Birmingham Academy 2 16/11/09

Support: Poison The Well

Playing the new Birmingham Academy; which on entrance already feels a lot bigger than the much more intimate former Academy, is the perfect stop gap for post hardcore pioneers Thursday, as they take a break from support duties on the current Rise Against tour.

With support coming from Poison The Well, there’s a nostalgia vibe in the air; both bands certainly taking me back to my mid-teens at which I first discovered them. But whilst Poison The Well do give their generous 45-minute outing their best effort, the fact is that they never quite made it as both their new and old material suffers from the same problem; sounding far too generic and lacking any memorable hooks to really distinguish themselves in a crowded genre. Credit to the band for still trying, but ultimately, other than a couple of spirited members of the audience, they struggled to hold the attention of a half empty academy.

Thankfully you can always guarantee an entertaining outing from Thursday. Fresh from successful appearances at this year’s Reading and Leeds festivals, the New Jersey  band masterfully blended material from the much adored ‘Full Collapse’ and ‘War All The Time’ albums, as well as material from the more experimental ‘A City By The Light Divided’ and recent effort ‘Common Existence’. Whilst the academy was still by no means full, there was a more impressive crowd as Geoff Rickly and co ploughed through their hour set, Rickly as ever combining his vocal performance with his slightly camp onstage mannerisms. With highlights coming in the shape of ‘Paris In Flames’, ‘Division Street’ and closer ‘Jet Black New Year’, whilst the jury may still be out on the band’s recent recorded material, live they’re still every bit as exciting as when they first emerged. It’s just a shame / blessing that they still somehow elude the wider audience they have for so long so thoroughly deserved.

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