Circa Waves’ UK tour following the release of their second studio album Different Creatures, took a stop off in Manchester, just a short trip down the M62 from the band’s hometown of Liverpool. The rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool has always been a fierce one, but those differences were put aside for a night where Circa Waves really showcased themselves as one of the better live bands from the blossoming indie scene coming out of the North West of England at the moment, as well as around the country.
The setlist was a strong and equally split between songs from the band’s debut, Young Chasers, and the new album, Different Creatures. The Liverpudlian four-piece came out all guns blazing from the start with Wake Up, the second single from the new album. A powerful, riff-heavy song, this seems the natural choice as the set opener going forward as it is one that gets the crowd going right from the off.
The band flipped from first to second album quite regularly song to song, and considering the vastly different tones of each album, there would be a worry that this would make the set as a whole come off as disjointed. However, this didn’t turn out to be a problem for Circa Waves as they kept the crowd’s interest at its peak throughout. This switching between songs from each album actually worked in the band’s favour as it seemed to fit perfectly with the natural ebb and flow that unfolds during a concert.
Fossils was one of the highlights of the set, a crowd favourite from the first album which had members of the crowd dancing from start to finish. There was a scramble at the start of Love’s Run Out for fans to get on the shoulders of their mates, with lead singer Kieran asking fans to get their lights out (which has handily made for a great photo for the band to use on their social media accounts).
For the second album’s title track, Different Creatures, lead singer Kieran announced that there was a camera crew recording the song for the upcoming music video for the song. Different Creatures was received well by the Manchester crowd, and seems an obvious fit as the next single from an album that has already had three brilliant singles from it.
Circa Waves ended the set strongly with one of those singles, Fire That Burns, which is in my opinion the band’s best song to date, followed by their biggest hit, teenage anthem T-Shirt Weather, with a big circle opening up in the middle of the crowd ready for the chorus to hit and the mayhem to be released.
Lead singer Kieran thanked the sell-out Manchester crowd for packing out the Academy, saying that Manchester is always the first date to sell out on their tours, which happens to be what most bands are telling Manchester crowds week-in, week-out. Keep pulling out performances like this one and I suspect that their Manchester shows, as well as countless others across the UK and beyond will continue to sell out for a while yet.