For a band who, in the words of Marianas Trench frontman Josh Ramsay, “haven’t released any records in this country” the turnout was very impressive last night at iconic London venue KOKO.
The rock band, from Vancouver, Canada, started way back in 2001, but in that time they have only visited the UK twice: last year, where they played in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and a sold out concert at the O2 Academy Islington; and this year, which has seen them perform at 10 dates across the UK (tonight’s gig at The Haunt, Brighton is their final before moving into Europe).
Support band Club Drive performed a short set before Marianas Trench took to the stage at 8.30. Led by the very charismatic Josh Ramsay, the band led the audience through a high energy nearly 2 hours long without a break. A few weeks ago I asked Josh what first time audience members could expect from the show, and his response was “Fans can expect tight pants and wide stance”. This was certainly the case, as Josh’s trousers were slung as low as they could possibly go.
The Final Countdown Tour is in support of their most recent album, ‘Astoria’, which was released in 2015. The setlist covered a lot of tracks from the record, including their latest release, ‘Who Do You Love’, which has seen a lot of traction in Canada, and has been their biggest hit on radio in their homeland so far. They also featured a number of songs from their extensive back catalogue, which meant there was plenty of quality music for new and old fans alike.
The show included a fair bit of audience participation, clapping, singing, and interaction with the band members, especially Josh who at one point even found his way into the first few rows of the sold-out crowd. A highlight was Josh’s solo set, where he played a few acoustic numbers, including a gorgeous rendition of ‘Good To You’, from their 2009 album, ‘Masterpiece Theatre’. Josh involved the audience and had us sing the chorus. It was particularly moving to hear:
Josh made a point of saying that their merch seller was that day celebrating his birthday, and audience members were encouraged to buy him shots which he’d accept in exchange for wristbands. When we went to the merch stand after the show, he had several beers waiting for him, so it seems the shout out worked!
The audience last night comprised hardcore fans, some of whom Josh clearly knew, as he pointed and chatted with them from the stage, as well as curious concert goers, and media. Everyone left as fans however, with the band’s powerful energy both infectious and exciting. We couldn’t help but be impressed by the vocal range of Josh Ramsay, but also the singing abilities of bass player Mike Ayley and lead guitarist Matt Webb, who each took a turn at the mic, especially in the show closer, ‘End Of An Era’:
Marianas Trench play tonight at The Haunt, Brighton, before moving onto Europe. Further details can be found on their website. Find Marianas Trench online on their official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and VEVO.