LIVE REVIEW: OhBoy!, The Double Happy, Blackmonalisa and Hula Girls @ Actress and Bishop, Birmingham

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The weather was damp, and the roads were drenched with men in high viz jackets and hard hats, but this did not stop me from attending my first OhBoy! Gig at the Actress and Bishop in Birmingham.

To start the night off we had a debut from the Hula Girls, a two-piece band from Coventry. When it is your debut gig in front of sparse crowd, you wouldn’t be blamed to be slightly off. However the Hula Girls managed to show some composure and put on a strong performance, as each of their songs provided energy along with some witty lyrics.

Blackmonalisa took the stage shortly after and demonstrated that there is no age limit on good music as they played each of their songs down to a tea. All of the songs, which had some impressive guitar work from Andy Lane, who was up and down the fret board like a maniac, very inspirational stuff.

The Double Happy were the final act before OhBoy!, who played an energetic set scattered with heavy riffs and screaming. It may not have to been to everyone’s taste but once again there was excellent guitar work on display, as lead guitarist, Martin Warlow, shredded his way through each song. The band was not short of personality either, as they shared jokes between songs and at one point Martin asked what the next song was, and how it went.

OhBoy! Finally took to the stage to showcase their debut EP (EP#1) to Birmingham. As good as the EP was on SoundCloud, it was twice as better live as each song seemed to surround the room and get everyone tow tapping, along with the odd person singing along (Me). Each of the band members played a crucial part in each of the songs, whether it was Lee’s guitar work, Nicola’s bass playing, Mark’s drum smashing or Jay’s winsome vocals, they were all important and executed perfectly.  The gig showed that OhBoy! deserve something bigger in the music world, as their songs wouldn’t sound out of place if played to 1000 + people. As an added extra, I got to meet the band who are great bunch of guys, very dedicated to their music and easy to talk to.

Unfortunately all of the bands deserved a bigger crowd, but you can’t win them all. Through the course of the night I was introduced to four talented bands, that each have strong songs behind them.

Words by Alex Wise @al4563

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