For a while now the Genting Arena (what was previously the LG Arena and the NEC) has provided an opportunity for unsigned artists and bands to play the Forum Live stage prior to the headline acts in the main arena. It’s a great opportunity for local bands to gain some exposure and potentially perform in front of thousands of people. On Thursday I was there to photograph Young Braves and Klasside who were playing prior to Labrinth and The Script in the main arena.
First up it was Young Braves who played a stripped back drummer-less set which highlighted their lush clean sound. Front man Ollie Scott has a really great voice that was complemented wonderfully by the crisp Rickenbacker guitar of Jakob Ferguson whilst bass player Elliot Scott provided a solid back line.
I can’t believe that it’s been two years since I last saw Klasside at the Birmingham O2 Academy. Since then they’ve had a line up change (or two!), which sees Gordon (guitar), Khy (bass) and John (drums) join original members Chris (vocals) and Neil (guitar). They played a fully acoustic set which really highlighted the guys musicianship. They also threw in a few cheeky covers including a flamenco tinged version of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean as well as their, now infamous, cover of House of Pain’s Jump Around.
If you’re going to the Genting Arena in May to see Maroon 5 then you’ll be able to see Klasside do another acoustic special. If you prefer things plugged in and a bit louder then checkout their website and Facebook page for upcoming dates around the Midlands.