Updated: Oct 13
On the 3rd of March, as the second of two co-headline shows, Alice Lily and Cigarette Social Club played The Rainbow Pub, in Digbeth, Birmingham. With support from The Kabins and The Skeme, the crowd was full of enthusiasm and excitement. The venues atmosphere was one of delight and positivity, full of friendly faces and positivity, and of course amazing music.
The Skeme got the night off to a strong start. With great energy and confidence on stage the outfit played back-to-back originals- most available to stream with some yet to be released. Influences from the likes of The Strokes and The Kooks are clear. The Skeme’s distinct sound sets them apart from many. Overall, the performance was brilliant; with the band perfectly in sync with one another, and solid, skilful transitions between each song. During the set the band mentioned that they have new material set to be released soon – namely my favourite song of the set, ‘Heatstroke’, and I can safely say that it is one to look forward to (I’m excited to add it to my playlists).
The next band to take the stage was The Kabins. Their performance was incredibly
entertaining both visually and listen to. The group’s chemistry was unmatched, engaging excellently with each other and the crowd, The Kabins illuminated their strong bond. Their sound is reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys’ work, especially with the way that the lead singer embraces his natural accent. This was the band's first ever show in Birmingham, and they left the crowd with a great first impression; we hope to see them in the city again soon.
The first of the two headliners was Alice Lily. Starting their set off with an unreleased original, ‘Layla’: a huge song, much heavier than their usual indie style, Alice Lily really showcased their immense talent. This track spotlighted, lead singer, Alice’s impressive vocals, as well as the bands diverse instrumental skills –particularly, the driving, fuzzy tone that bassist Rachel provided. Rachel also lended her voice during some songs in the set, most notably during ‘Bite My Lips’ (my personal favourite of the set), and when she did, their voices contrasted and complimented one another impeccably – Rachel’s gravelly, raw screams paired with Alice’s softer tone made for excellent contrast that I hope the band continues to lean into. Throughout the set, they played fan -favourite originals including the title track of their debut EP, ‘Burn’, which had audience members singing along with incredible crowd interaction. It was truly an admirable performance, cementing the band as one of the rising stars in Birmingham’s music scene.
Ending the night with a bang was Cigarette Social Club, a band that I wish I had known about sooner! During their interview, they mentioned that their biggest inspiration and dream
collaboration would be Cage the Elephant, and that influence became clear as soon as their set began. This is a band with huge potential to create waves in the world of indie music, and they evidently know their style and genre well – the glittery lead guitar tones were reminiscent of Peach Pit, with their instrumental work bringing The Night Café and Second Thoughts to mind, whilst the lead singer’s vocals at times slightly reminded me of Declan McKenna. The band’s style is undeniably indie rock, but they still had a varied yet distinct sound that really spans the genre in its entirety. It’s clear to me that their understanding of the genre is extensive, and the outfit’s sound is refined. After watching Cigarette SocialClub’s performance, I believe that the possibilities for this band are endless, and they have the chance of landing themselves right up there with the icons of indie rock.