Best Coast - Live At O2 Academy, Birmingham

After gaining a following over the past few years, Best Coast once again returned to the shores of the UK for another spellbinding tour. As Clash followed the small queue into the venue, the show held a sea of mystery.

We entered the gig just as the first support, Fear of Men, began their first song. There was a haunting atmosphere in the room as it slowly began to fill. This band are reminiscent of early versions of The Smiths or Joy Division, although instead of doing the “Ian Curtis dance,” the lead singer seemed to create her own hippy moves.

Spectrals were the next band to take to the stage. Contrasting the other two acts, this was the only act of the evening made up completely of male musicians (which seems more of a rarity nowadays). Spectrals warmed the crowd up nicely in preparation for the main event.

After another set change, the well-awaited Best Coast took to the stage. The crowd cheered as the band broke out into their first song of the evening, ‘The Only Place’. Now for those of you who haven’t heard of or seen Best Coast before, their sound is extremely hard to place. They have been deemed many different categories such as gospel, surf, pop or just plain indie. It is fair to say that Best Coast sound extremely different on record than live, especially on older albums. However, the sound coming from the stage was raw, and so were the emotions. Bethany Cosentino puts her heart and soul into her voice and it really came across well.

About halfway through the gig Best Coast decided to slow down the pace, playing songs such as ‘What They Want Me to Be’ and causing the crowd sway to the beat. Best Coast played a nice mix of old and new tracks, and there was still plenty more to come.

After doing the typical “this is our last song” speech, Best Coast left the stage, returning minutes later with the hit song ‘I Want You’. The phrase “saving the best until last” couldn’t be more apt. The band went back to their older music, playing hits such as ‘Sun Was High (So Was I)’ and finishing with the fan favourite ‘Boyfriend’.

So, will Best Coast break through to the mainstream? It doesn’t really matter. What was capturing about the gig was the loyal fan base all three bands carried, and as long as they keep this up, a high underground status will suit them perfectly.

Words by Sophie Sparham
Photo by Rebecca Reilly

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

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