Live Review: The Augustines – The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

augustines

Life hasn’t always been perfect with The Augustines, with tragedy being the epitome of what they forcambe to for many years. But you wouldn’t think that looking at their recent headlining tour and the insane emphatic performance they put on. On Wednesday 3rd December they brought their tour to the small venue of the Wedgewood Rooms located in the dreary city of Portsmouth, but what happened in this venue was something spectacular, something you need to witness numerous times in your life.

The night started with support from the Arkells, an Indie band from Canada. They played many numbers and then the most adorable lead singer, with dad-like dance moves informed us of a story where he’d stolen his Dad’s leather jacket leading into one of the most merry songs ever – Leather Jacket. The crowd were all up and dancing as soon as they hit the first chorus. The Arkells then finished with the most perplexing song Deadliness where the crowd again went wild and the roar as they left highlighted the intensity of what we’d just witnessed from the support. Expectations were set high even before the Augustines set foot on stage.

After what felt like an eternity, the atmosphere in the crowd grew to heights which equalled the intensity of the room, the band run on, the lighting goes mad, the drums kick in, the guitars start and Billy started singing Headlong Into The Abyss and the crowd echo the lyrics back at them.

Throughout this gig it was bewildering watching the tempo change from the deep emotional songs to the upbeat merry songs, however you could see the emotion the band felt whilst on stage, giving it their best and conveying the emotions they feel with these songs. Augustines decided to do an emotional love song where Billy consequently did an anecdote informing us of him being beaten up, only to follow up by singing Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love). His voice sent shivers through the venue and the crowd cheered him on by yet again showing their support in this band.

They played many hits off of their albums- a personal favourite being when they played Walkabout. The crowd stayed deadly quiet at the start and then finally joined in with lead singer Billy’s vocals. As expected the crowd enjoyed their hits Cruel City, Weary Eyes and Book of James, where the crowd fully sang-along highlighting yet again the love for what we were witnessing.

As an encore the band came back on stage and got down to the barrier where they stripped down their music to only Eric playing an acoustic guitar and Billy’s powerful voice. They proceeded to play The Avenue with the crowd joining in, making it sound like a choir around the room, emphasising the beauty of this song.

The band showed their appreciation towards their fans who had turned up to witness the true beauty of this performance and the crowd roared with enthusiasm for what we had just witnessed. Speaking to people after we all agreed that was hands down the best gig any of us had ever been to.

Rachel Allman