NEVER MEANS MAYBE
PLUS: The Perfect Crime, Nevacain and Let Us Proceed
The Waterfront, Norwich
26th March 2012
Words and Photos: Charlie Wallis
Last time Never Means Maybe played Norwich it was at this very venue in support of Exit Ten and Fei Comodo and they went down an absolute storm. Something about their showmanship and brand of emotional rock music really struck a chord with the local music fans and the night was a real success. This therefore is something of a second run at this city for Never Means Maybe. Unfortunately the turnout isn’t probably what the band were hoping for, perhaps because it’s a Monday night, so this evening was always going to be an uphill battle.
First band on tonight are local youngsters Let Us Proceed who put in a solid effort to convert the massing crowd to their sound which is has elements of Paramore, tinges of Enter Shikari mixed with beats and drop which goes down well. The band are clearly talented and lead singer Breesha Stanton has the potential to be vocally amazing. One area the band could develop is stage presence but as their set progresses and they get more confident this does come out and the band put on an entertaining performance.
Second up are Lowestoft locals Nevacain who bring their energetic grunge sound the the stage. That bands music is tight and well executed with vocal harmonies and guitar solos being pulled off extremely well. Again, certainly initially, there’s something of a lack of stage presence which hinders the excitement from the audience somewhat. Similar the ‘Let Us Proceed’ this does improve as the set goes on, it would seem the more the audience responds to their catchy hooks and melodies, the more the band relaxes. ‘Nevacain’ have it within themselves to be brilliant and the music is there, just a tad more movement onstage and a greater connection with the audience could set them in good stead to be very successful.
From the first note they play The Perfect Crime raise the bar performance wise to a whole new level. It’s instantly evident that these guy have been doing this for years and are subsequently very good at what they do. Bassist Chris Roberts instantly sets to teaching a seminar on rocking out and lead singer Adam ‘Motey’ Mortaro is impressive as he stands and belts out every note of what ends up being a particularly dynamic setlist. The fast paced energetic alt rock stylings are juxtaposed perfectly with downbeat atmospheric numbers such as the beautifully epic “Luscinia”. This is only the second time in Norwich for The Perfect Crime, but I’d be surprised if they weren’t asked back again soon.
As Never Means Maybe take to the stage, sadly much of the venue has cleared out, so much so that lead singer Renz Byrne is forced to ask “did we offend someone”. What I would say to those who left is the loss is theirs as ‘Never Means Maybe’ take the setback firmly in their stride and the vigour with which they play would lead you to presume they were playing to a packed venue with a far greater capacity. Ever with an empty venue the energy hits you like a sledgehammer with the band making the most of the time and (limited) space they’re afforded. The momentum is maintained throughout every song with particular favourites being “…And That’s How Accidents Happen” and the frankly magnificent “Output: Listen”. As lead singers go, Byrne is about as charismatic as they some pitching himself somewhere between Gerrard Way and Chino Moreno but with better humour and particularly nice is the moment where members of the band jubilantly fling themselves into an emerging circle pit (perhaps to boost the numbers).
From watching their set, a band like this deserves to be much bigger and hopefully word of mouth will mean numbers wise their next show is a bigger success numbers as their performance is already a winning formula.