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Circa Waves – Bristol O2 Academy REVIEW

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

I remember when I bought these tickets. On a family holiday which all of a sudden got all the more exciting when my brother announced Circa Waves were coming to Bristol. We bought tickets instantly. In the end six of us, me and my brother included, turned up at the recently refurbished but still vaguely grubby O2 Academy. We were singing their songs before they even started setting up.

Normally with smaller bands like this you have to sit through an enduring 2 hours of mediocre at best support acts, however this night was an exception. I had looked up the acts prior to the event to make sure I didn’t get my hopes up too much. What I heard I actually liked the sound of. However my first impressions of the gig weren’t fantastic as almost everyone stood in the crowd was either 4 years younger or 40 years older than me and my boyfriend who stood awkwardly in the middle, sticking out like a sore thumb. This meant lots of annoying younger children who had either spent about 2 hours splashing their faces in  make up (only for it later to run down their faces due to copious amounts of sweat) or who had managed to sneak cider from their parents fridge in order to get absolutely plastered. A concept which makes no sense to me, why get drunk somewhere when you’ve paid a lot of money to pay attention and enjoy the music. These people spent most of the night getting kicked out by security and lolling on any vertical object (i.e pissed off people).

By the time Circa Waves actually were about to come on I had attempted to enjoy the really quite good music of “Rat Boy” and “Clean Cut Kid”, both of which are much better than their names, but instead spent most of the time glaring at obnoxiously loud groups of girls, all of which were wearing the same Topshop jeans and foundation stained crop top. At this point I was covered in beer, holding up two paralytic 16 year olds and majorly over heating.

As Kieran Shudall (vocals, guitar), Sam Rourke (bass), Colin Jones (drums), and Joe Falconer (guitarist) all traipsed onto the stage, everything began to fall into place, the girls stood up on their own two feet, a door was opened to let in a much needed breeze and everyone stopped being hyper and tense and melted into the music creating an electric yet comforting atmosphere.

A smile of relief came across my face.

They played for about an hour, including an encore, which exhausted their debut and only album. However the crowd definitely did not seem to mind. The electric atmosphere they created carried the whole of the venue through all of their upbeat tunes. As much as I like the music, I think the general atmosphere is what made this concert so enjoyable. I feel sorry for the people who chose to not stand within the crowd and to place themselves draped over the balcony and propping up the bar as although they may have got the same sound, the experience wouldn’t have been anywhere as near the same.

This was technically the second time I had seen Circa Waves perform. This first was early this summer at Glastonbury festival 2015 in the John Peel Tent. They were equally as fantastic then, but despite being at the biggest festival of the year the atmosphere was inferior to that of the Bristol O2 Academy.

Kieren and his piercing blue eyes along with the other boys, all were lovely enough to spend the evening casually chatting and taking photos and signing tickets for such a long time, an element that made the gig so much more personal. It allowed the audience to view them as friends and relate to them much more, especially as they were so down to earth and friendly.

I am just waiting for the next release.

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