Photos by Matthew McAndrew. Words by Michaela McElroy.
The lights go down; music is playing in the distance, white lights flashing. The distance is getting closer, right beside us, right within us.
“Circa, Circa, Circa f**king Waves” is chanted before they even set foot onstage of the sold out O2 ABC. The quartet appears on stage with the bassist, Sam Rourke taking a detour to the top of an amp.
The lights stop. The music cuts.
They open with the crashing sound of ‘So Long’.
Bursting full of energy, each of the Liverpool boys are as equally eye grabbing and interesting to watch as the next. Uniformly wearing skin tight black jeans, their hair remains unruffled by the nearby wind machines.
By the end of the second song I have lost count of the amount of drinks thrown and a girl is already being hauled over the barriers to safety from the ever moving crowd. Lead singer, Kieran Shudall, who is eager to keep the show moving, uses the brief pause between songs to reiterate Ellie Goulding’s message made earlier this year while supporting Calvin Harris at the Bellahouston Summer Sessions, stressing “if anyone falls you got to pick them up straight away, you got to be careful”. Fortunately for Shudall, the lively crowd who seize every opportunity to create an uncontrollable mosh pit are easily distracted by Circa Waves’ attention-grabbing guitar hooks.
After racing through indie-rock songs featured on their debut album, Young Chasers, bassist Sam Rourke addresses the crowd and announces that he would like to “talk about something important”. Rourke continues on, eliminating the crowd’s dubiousness towards his solemnity, about a group they had recently come across, Girls Against. They are a movement who are against “sexual harassment in shows like this. It’s about f**king time because it’s not right, apparently it happened at one of our shows. We’re not happy about it. Follow them on Twitter.” To which the crowd demonstrate their support by applauding Rourke’s statement.
Their final track of the night, ‘T-Shirt Weather’, is dedicated to “the guy on someone’s shoulders”, which results in a sudden increase of people being elevated onto shoulders. Yet unfazed by added weight, the crowd don’t slow down for this last track.
The night is not over for Circa Waves. Leaving a crowd of over a thousand wonderstruck fans isn’t quite enough for the boys. They head across the road for round two at Firewater to perform a DJ set at their official after party.
Follow Michaela on Twitter