Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Summer Set at Kings College Student Union, London

The evening of the 31st May started off in the best way possible. It was a warm, vibrant evening in the city and when we were taken up to a balcony in the venue overlooking the iconic London eye, I concluded that this was a perfect place for a meet and greet. However, I was shocked to not be faced with the usual bustle of hundreds of excitable ‘fangirls’, but just twenty teenagers mingling around the room. I thought this was refreshing and I loved being able to just chill with the members of The Summer Set without being 'moved along' and talking over high pitched squeals. I am not saying I have not enjoyed meet and greets in the past, there is nothing better than meeting great bands, but something about the relaxed atmosphere made this one more special. We were then able to go down the stairs to the stage before any of the other audience was allowed in and so got a prime position in the front row on the right hand side.

This was the first time I had been so close to the stage that I had to move my hands because guitarists were stepping on my fingers, for a lover of concerts this was amazing! Natives (who seem to keep popping up at gigs I go to) opened the show with songs from their ‘Stand For Something’ and ‘This Island’ EPs. I was a bit disappointed when I turned around to see the crowd looking so unenthusiastic but a sign that showed Natives are an excellent opening act was, by the end of their set, the whole audience were dancing and red in the face. I hope to see Natives on their tour in November and see if they make as good headliners as they do openers.

Action Item was on next with a dramatic first song, 'Good or Bad'. I'm not sure whether it was being close to the stage, or if it was the venue but I didn't feel the acoustics were as good as other gigs I have been to. At some points, I found it difficult to hear Brian's vocals as they were slightly distorted. Nevertheless, their catchy songs and cute chemistry on stage meant that I really enjoyed their set. Being the teenage girl that I am, my favourite moment was when Brian sang part of 'Last Day Of Summer' to me, the perks of being front row. They did a cover of 'I Need Your Love' by Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris which was a good choice as practically everybody knew it and so everyone could join in singing whilst Brian crowd surfed in the sea of people.

 With the crowd left feeling lively and thoroughly warmed up, we were all eagerly awaiting The Summer Set. The set list was taped right in front of me so I could see that all of my favourite songs were going to be played, even older ones like 'Girls Freak Me Out' and 'Love Like This'. From the first song, The Summer Set had the whole crowd dancing and Brian Dale's distinctive vocals were almost exactly like their recorded songs, which always impresses me. I have to say the person that stole the show for me had to be Jess Bowen, the drummer. I was mesmerised by her skill especially as it is unusual to see a female drummer, and she did not miss a single beat. I liked the fact they did not perform any covers this time as it gave them a chance to play a huge range of their own material which, ultimately, is what everybody came to hear. I thought 'About A Girl' was performed beautifully as the band switched to acoustic and emotion was poured into the song. My favourite song to hear live was probably 'Lightening In A Bottle' from the new album 'Legendary', I feel like it was written to please crowds and that it did as everybody went crazy and threw their 'hearts in the air' which made a wonderful picture. Ending the show with 'Chelsea' was symbolic for me as it was the first song I heard by The Summer Set and the night really ended with the crowd wanting more.

 This was the last show being held at Kings College Student Union and although it was not my favourite, it was in a picturesque location with a good sized stage and dance floor. The Summer Set is a must-see band and I honestly could not fault their set.

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